Introduction to exploitation of research results and knowledge transfer

Knowledge Transfer has become more important over the last couple of years. Academic researchers, however, are not always fully aware of what new opportunities this provides them with and how this affects their research.

This course, comprising of three lunch sessions of two hours, introduces the participants into the basic concepts of knowledge transfer and how this can benefit the researcher, the university and society. Each session focuses on one of the three main routes of knowledge transfer of university knowledge to society: 

1.           Contract & collaborative research 
2.           Patenting & licensing
3.           Creating a new company (spin-off)

After following the course, participants are more familiar with the terminology of technology transfer and are able to talk more confidently about the topic. Participants can identify opportunities for knowledge transfer resulting from their own research. In addition, participants are able to apply the acquired knowledge to their own research situation, understand what actions to take and who to contact within TU/e Innovation Lab to pursue these opportunities.

Lunch is included in the program. 

Program and content

Session 1 – Setting the Scene

In this first session the concept of technology transfer and how this affects academic researchers will be introduced. We will focus on the various modes of collaborative research, what you should take into account before entering into a collaboration and what to look out for in signing a collaboration agreement.


  • General concept of Knowledge Transfer or “Valorization”
  • What’s in it for the researcher?
  • What’s in it for the TU/e?
  • Modes of collaboration, e.g. Public Private Partnerships
  • Collaboration vs. contract research
  • Concepts of Background, Foreground, Sideground
  • Material Transfer Agreements and Confidentiality Agreements
  • How to deal with IP in a collaboration

 Session 2 – IP Protection & Patents

The second session will focus on IP protection and patents. We will start with the basics of identifying what an invention is and what criteria are used to decide whether an invention is patentable or not. Next, we will see the different steps in the patent application process and what costs are associated with this.  Finally, we will discuss a case study of a patent application.


  • What is a patent?
  • What is an invention?
  • Why file a patent?
  • Patenting vs publishing
  • Patentability criteria: concepts of novelty and inventiveness
  • Patent filing process and associated costs
  • Case Study

Session 3 – Starting Spin-off Companies

This final session tackles the challenges of setting up a new spin-off company based on university technology. Great science or technology is a good starting point but usually more exploratory work is needed to discover whether there is commercial value as well. To develop a technology from an initial proof-of-principle in the lab to a commercial product takes time, money and a dedicated team. We will discover what is needed to build a strong business case and how to raise the required funding for development.


  • Why start a spin-off?
  • Where do I start?
  • Initial Business Case and Value Proposition
  • Business Model Canvas
  • Creating a Business Plan
  • Raising initial funding and investment

This course will be held in English.

Target group

This course is intended for:

  • all PhD candidates preferably in the second or third year, before the research results which the PhD candidate wants to ‘exploit’ are published.
  • Post Doc researchers, Assistant and Associate Professors, and Professors.

Study load

Face-to-face instruction: 6 hours
Total study load: 8 hours

Registration and other course information

You can sign up for this course at the Professional Development Portal.
If there are no courses planned, all course dates are full or the dates provided are not convenient, please register for the waiting list. When new dates are planned you will receive a notification.

Cost of course per person: €75,-

This training activity is free of charge, unless participation is cancelled within 4 weeks before the start of the course. In this case or if the participant does not attend the first session terms and conditions will apply. 


For questions regarding this training mail to DPO Training Support or contact the Research and Valorization program coordinator, Bonnie Beerkens, for questions regarding the content of the training.