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Research + commercialisation = readjustment

- This is a signal of increased emphasis on commercialisation, says Abelia's manager Håkon Haugli. Today, the Minister of Education and Research received a report on commercialisation of Norwegian research.

Last year the government ordered an evaluation of the system for commercialisation of Norwegian research. Today, the Nordic Institute for Studies in Innovation, Research and Education (NIFU) delivered the report to the Minister of Education and Research Torbjørn Røe Isaksen at Arendalsuka.

These are the main conclusions and recommendations from NIFU’s evaluation team:

  • The support network for commercialization through the Technology Transfer Offices (TTO’s) has become more professional and efficient.
  • There is a need for clearer incentives for commercialisation, and academia must develop a stronger cooperation with industry and commerce.
  • The culture for commercialisation in academia must be built from below, and a greater emphasis on student entrepreneurship is a key factor for success.
  • Bottlenecks in funding must be addressed through increasing the funding of FORNY 2020 to 300 MNOK per year, and pre-seed funding to 100 MNOK per year.

Time for a change of pace

During the next years, large parts of Norwegian industry must re-adjust in a world characterized by lower oil prices, faster changes and disruptive technology shifts. Research must therefore create greater benefit for the society; research and new discoveries must be implemented and brought to the market.

– The evaluation states that Norway now has a professional and efficient system for the commercialisation of research through the technology transfer offices (TTO’s). This provides a solid basis to bring out the great potential of Norwegian research, says Haugli.

– The time for wasting great ideas is over. It is time for a change of pace in Norway. That requires increased pressure on commercial and business-oriented instruments like FORNY2020 and pre-seed funding.

Capital, expertise – and customers!

The big challenge is to get more research-based companies to grow so large that they become a part of the answer as to how Norway will proceed in light of the diminishing oil reserves.  In the long term it is only increased revenue from customers that can contribute to growth and profitability. In order to succeed with international expansion and reach customers globally, it is crucial to have access to both top industry expertise and competent capital.

– Clever people are the key to the restructuring, and these are, now more than ever before, available due to the decrease in the oil sector. They can contribute with their commercial skills through initiatives that connect them more strongly towards the research community and the development of new and established companies, says Daniel Ras-Vidal, manager of the Association for Innovation Companies in Norway (FIN), which is an industry forum in Abelia.

– The government should begin to follow the evaluation committee’s recommendations in the forthcoming entrepreneur plan by directing the state’s total venture capital towards a more efficient catalyst that triggers more private capital and commitment, especially in the early stages, says Ras-Vidal.

You can find the full report here.

Please contact us for more information:

  • Daniel Ras-Vidal, Manager, FIN, +47 404 71 869
  • Håkon Haugli, CEO, Abelia, +47 905 31 025
  • Anders Haugland, CEO, Bergen Teknologioverføring, +47 926 02 381