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INNOVATIONSKONTOR VÄST

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Innovationskontor Väst provides support to individual researchers and research groups in matters regarding innovation and utilisation of research and its results. Such support includes guidance on utilisation in many different forms: commercialisation, patenting and licensing, research collaboration etcetera. We provide advice on how to navigate the innovation system, and assist in channelling support offered by others.

Background: Chalmers, following the directives of the Ministry of Education and Research, established Innovationskontor Väst. It is one of twelve Offices for Innovation in Sweden, and was founded in 2010. The objective of these Offices for Innovation is to facilitate the efforts of universities in taking a greater role in the utilisation of research.

Range: In addition to providing assistance to Chalmers’ research activities, the office has been assigned the task of also supporting other universities in the region. Consequently, Chalmers has opted to form a partnership with a further seven universities: University of Gothenburg, University West, University of Skövde, SLU Skara, University of Borås, Jönköping University and Halmstad University. This support is provided, in the first instance, by innovation advisers based at each university.

Basis of activities: The activities of Innovationskontor Väst are informed by the wide-range of the tasks set out by the Ministry of Education and Research, in which commercialisation is only one of many efforts to facilitate the exploitation of research. Instead, “Academic Innovation Management” is used as point of departure including the cultivation of innovation capabilities and managing intellectual assets. This is achieved through a focus on developing a knowledge base, tools and various forms of support.

Activities: The support is aimed at individual researchers, research groups and centres as well as university management and innovation advisors; and its work is performed in four main areas:

  • Innovation advice: By meeting regularly to exchange experiences and ideas, the innovation advisers at all eight universities are able to develop their skills and expertise. Innovationskontor Väst also provides specialist advice within various fields, such as Life Sciences and ICT.
  • Verification: Innovationskontor Väst disperses funds for research-based verification. Funds from VINNOVA’s programme “Verification for Growth” are also dispersed via Innovationskontor Väst.
  • Management of intellectual assets: Professional development within the management of intellectual assets is offered in project form to both researchers and university management. Advice relating to licensing is included, as well as Intellectual Assets Inventories.
  • Awareness raising: Professional development and efforts to raise awareness within the field of utilisation of research are seen as inter-connected and are undertaken using a variety of methods aimed at researchers: workshops, seminars, courses and competitions.

Tools: At Innovationskontor Väst we focus on capacity-building by providing opportunities to develop new knowledge, resources and tools. So far, we have developed six tools:

Participation in projects and research centres: Innovationskontor Väst works proactively to create better pre-conditions for a more effective utilisation of research through active participation in both projects and cross-disciplinary research centres. SEVS2 is an example of a project designed for development of common scenarios for the future of transport.

Reports: We describe how we work in Blue Paper Reports and express opinions in Green Paper Reports

Development projects: Innovationskontor Väst seeks constantly to discover new methods and tools through participation in development projects in co-operation with researchers and other regional, national and international actors, such as, business incubators, holding companies, cross-disciplinary centres and science parks.

Examples of development projects:

  • GoINN – a partnership between the University of Gothenburg and Chalmers and innovation system actors within VINNOVA’s Key Actor’s Programme.
  • Freedom2Research – development of tools and methods for intelligence gathering in a field of research with aim of producing an innovation strategy.
  • Roles in utilisation – partnership with researchers at Chalmers for identifying and communicating the different roles necessary to the process of exploiting research.

People: The innovation advisors at Innovationskontor Väst have in most cases a Ph.D. degree and have experience from business, industrial research institutes, public agencies or state-owned companies. Several have started their own businesses, worked on assignment from research funding bodies and have experience of management groups and boards of directors. They are also able to draw on their specialist expertise in fields such as nanotechnology, Life Sciences and ICT. The partnership also includes a network of innovation advisers, based at each of the participating universities, with long experience and specialist expertise.

Jesper Vasell is the director of Innovationskontor Väst, jesper.vasell@chalmers.se.

Welcome to Innovationskontor Väst at Chalmers, Vera Sandbergs allé 5A (3rd floor), Göteborg

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