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Knowledge Transfer & Enterprise Engagement

Knowledge Transfer & Enterprise Engagement

Knowledge transfer is a broad term used to describe a range of mutually-beneficial activities between higher education institutions, enterprise, community/civil society and the public sector. Knowledge Transfer is a two-way process focusing on the transfer of ideas, skills and know-how between the academic community and the wider economy and society in which it operates. The technological higher education sector has long been recognised for their strong links with economy and society, particularly in the regions where THEA member institutions are located. Here you will find information about knowledge transfer activities between these institutions and enterprise.

Technology Transfer

Traditional technology transfer activities are focused on ensuring that intellectual property generated by higher education institutions can be harnessed for the benefit of enterprises and the economy. This can occur in a number of ways, including licensing, collaborative research work, consultancy or the creation of a spin-out company. The technological higher education sector has a strong track record in this area, including being responsible nationally in 2020 for:

  • 43% of Business Access to Publically-Funded Research Expertise 
  • 25% of Invention Disclosures
  • 17% of Licences, Options and Assignments
  • 10% of new Spin-Outs

Information and contact details for the Technology Transfer Offices in THEA member institutions can be found at http://www.knowledgetransferireland.com/How-to/Technology-Transfer-Offices/

Supporting Entrepreneurs

Approximately 500 companies are supported in on-campus incubators each year, representing over 50% of the companies supported annually in higher education incubation facilities. The flagship programme for supporting entrepreneurs in developing new businesses is the New Frontiers programme, delivered in partnership with Enterprise Ireland. This is a three-phase programme, designed to provide an integrated and comprehensive set of business development supports to participants. Participants are drawn from the local area and often include staff and student entrepreneurs from the technological higher education institutions. Many New Frontiers graduates go on to establish their companies within the on-campus incubator where they completed the programme, continuing to use the top-quality enterprise supports offered by the incubators, and often link with the institutions' researchers to source innovative research solutions to their technology problems.

Enterprise Supports

In addition to the New Frontiers programme, THEA member institutions are also supporting enterprise by provision of:

  • Tailored training courses
  • Continuous professional development and workforce development programmes
  • One-to-one advice on growing a business
  • Advice and collaboration in securing research and innovation funding
  • Brokerage to link companies with a research and innovation need with appropriate research teams and expertise
  • Opportunities to participate in student work placement programmes
  • Facilitated access to state-of-art facilities, laboratories and equipment
  • Project delivery for Irish enterprises under the Enterprise Ireland Innovation Voucher and Innovation Partnership Programmes
  • Delivering close-to-market commercial needs
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