From the laboratory to conversion into products is the guiding principle of technology transfer. It does not always have to be "profitable" â€“ important is the conversion of research results into benefits for society. Companies need investment security to encourage them to develop commercial products based on academic research and development, because a laboratory product still needs a lot of time and money until it is ready for the market.
Intellectual property rights such as patents and copyrights are important components of a successful programme for effective technology transfer. They already protect innovations before their actual commercialisation. Companies can purchase exclusive licenses to these rights to safeguard their investment. At the same time, the transfer of knowledge and know-how from the minds of scientists to a company is another component of the programme.
Successful research institutes use a combination of intellectual property rights, know-how and contractual provisions for the commercialisation of their innovations.