InnovaMare project: “Technology transfer as key element for innovation” for the online kick off conference

28 July, 2020

The sustainability of the Adriatic Sea is the mission of the strategic project InnovaMare, funded by Interreg Cross Border Cooperation Italy-Croatia Programme 2014 - 2020, whose kick off conference, organized by the Croatian Chamber of Economy and Institute Ruđer Bošković, took place on July 22, 2020. 

For the next 30 months InnovaMare will involve 14 partners from Italian and Croatian sides in order to develop and establish an innovation ecosystem model in the area of underwater robotics and sensors for monitoring and surveillance sector, bringing cross-border collaboration between science and private sectors on a higher level. 

From our part, as University of Trieste, we gave our contribution to the conference with the panel “Technology transfer as key element for innovation”, lead by Prof. Guido Bortoluzzi, coordinator of the university’s team.  

The main topic was how to convert scientific and research results into new or improved products/services or processes that have a certain market value and could increase the competitiveness of the community in a way to create a culture of innovation in the area. 

Professor Andrea Piccaluga (Scuola Superiore S. Anna in Pisa and former President of NETVAL, the Italian network of TTOs) illustrated the new Report produced by the European Commission's Expert Group titled “KNOWLEDGE TRANSFER METRICS” (ISBN 978-92-76-18885-8). 

The presentation was particularly useful to understand what is and will be the orientation towards Technology Transfer in the EU in the next years.  

Differently from a traditional approach at TT that has so far focused on the typical activities (like patenting, licensing, and spin-offing) the new approach aims at measuring TT towards a four-dimensional framework

  • the internal context 
  • the (external) environment 
  • activities 
  • impact. 

Prof. Piccaluga has spent several minutes on the “impact” dimension that represents the main element of novelty. The impact dimension (creation of jobs, jobs retained, social benefits, culture change, etc.) forces us to think at the long-term benefits of TT and to go beyond the economic value of the outcomes (patents sold, licenses sold, etc.) and to think at the value and impact that TT has for the society as a whole. The absence of “patents” among the activities and the impact measures is not a mistake but a precise decision taken by the expert group that wanted to deliver the message that patents, per sé, do not create economic or social value. It is their use that creates impact. 

Prof. Petra Karanicic (University of Rijeka) intervenes with the aim to create a link between the previous presentation and the Innovamare project. It was emphasized that it will be very important during the project implementation to understand and learn how technology transfer process works in order to maximize the benefits of this process related to the project aims and results. In addition, prof. Karanikic agreed with the point of importance of paying attention and insisting on impact of KT and TT, but also to consider the context (regional, national and international).  


After an animated session of Q&A, Prof. Guido Bortoluzzi closes the thematic room with some concluding remarks on the role of MARiOS as an actor of knowledge creation and knowledge transfer in the Adriatic Area. The aim of MARiOS must be to contribute to the creation of the external conditions (creation of an ecosystem & facilities) and to enhance the impact that knowledge transfer activities cam have in the Adriatic Area in relation to the sector of underwater robots and sensors. 


InnovaMare project is worth 5,6 milions euro, with a duration of 30 months. It is managed by a consortium of 14 partners from Croatia and Italy, composed of universities, maritime institutions, business support institutions, SMEs, maritime cluster, local and regional authority.  

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Contacts:  Croatian Chamber of Economy (Lead partner)