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Knowledge and Technology Transfer in Materials Science and Engineering in Europe

Bressler, Patrick and Dürig, Urs and González-Elipe, Agustin and Quandt, Eckhard and Ritschkoff, Anne-Christine and Vahlas, Constantin Knowledge and Technology Transfer in Materials Science and Engineering in Europe. (2015) European Science Foundation, Strasbourg, France. ISBN 978-2-36873-198-7

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Advanced Materials is one of the Key Enabling 3 Technologies identified by the European Commission1. Together with Advanced Manufacturing it underpins almost all other Key Enabling and Industrial Technologies. The basic science and engineering research that results in the development of Advanced Materials lies within the field of Materials Science and Engineering (MSE). The transfer of knowledge from basic research into final products and applications in the field of MSE involves certain MSE-typical motifs and specific issues, as well as certain aspects that are special to Europe. In comparison with underlying traditional (or basic) disciplines such as physics, chemistry or biology, MSE involves a range of aspects that are more characteristic of applied science, where relevance has equal importance to curiosity in order to drive the research effort and justify expenditure – the defined goals often being a proven innovative technology or indeed a particular product. MSE and the related transfer of knowledge and technology includes consideration of factors such as materials and product life cycles, the abundance of materials, the technical, ecological and economic feasibility of materials engineering and processing, as well as the multidisciplinarity of the ‘background’ knowledge and the efficiency of the academic effort involved. This is even more the case for situations that involve successful validation of technologies and effective transfer of knowledge between academia and industry. The state of knowledge and technology transfer in Europe differs from that of other global players, such as the US, China or Japan. Europe’s cultural diversity gives rise to both positive and negative factors. Positive aspects include the high standard of general education and Europe’s highly skilled work force (for both technical and academic staff), and the flexibility and variety of research topics and directions. Major negative factors are the fragmentation of national research efforts, and the lack of a European mechanism to create critical mass in new technologies and to invest in pilot lines. These negative issues are manifested by the fragmentation of research programmes, the lack of venture capital and a general risk aversion on the part of investors in Europe, in particular in the light of the current economic crisis in Europe. The present situation has often been described as a malfunctioning interface between strong basic research and poor, inefficient technological development and commercial exploitation of knowledge. MSE spans this interface. ‘European’ knowledge is world-class, and even leads the world in certain fundamental areas of MSE, for example in the investigation and understanding of materials properties, the development and application of new concepts of materials design, computational materials sciences, and several other fields. However, Europe’s MSE knowledge and technological progress will not readily lead to the establishment of new technologies and products by European industries without dedicated intervention. This knowledge must be delicately directed in a highly impact-oriented way. To accelerate development and validation of technological applications and the introduction of technological innovation into the market, to intensify the collaboration between academic institutions and industry in Europe, and to facilitate the creation of spin-out companies and new industrial–academic career paths, MatSEEC recommends the creation of European Technology Research and Validation Platforms (ETVPs). Such platforms would provide powerful tools for innovation and allow better protection of intellectual property rights in Europe. We recommend the creation of an ‘Open-Access-Open-Innovation’ European Technology Research and Validation Infrastructure Initiative to streamline and improve technology and knowledge transfer in Europe. The initiative would be dedicated to technology research and validation. It could be based on a similar model to the current Integrated Infrastructure Initiatives (I3s) for research infrastructures of the European Commission (the I3 Programme in H2020 and the Seventh Framework Programme,FP7).

Item Type:Book
Additional Information:Thanks to European Science Foundation. The definitive version is available at http://www.esf.org/publications.html
Uncontrolled Keywords:
Institution:French research institutions > Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique - CNRS (FRANCE)
Other partners > Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas - CSIC (SPAIN)
Other partners > Institut Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft (GERMANY)
Université de Toulouse > Institut National Polytechnique de Toulouse - Toulouse INP (FRANCE)
Université de Toulouse > Université Toulouse III - Paul Sabatier - UT3 (FRANCE)
Other partners > Christian-Albrechts-Universität zu Kiel - CAU (GERMANY)
Other partners > IBM (USA)
Other partners > Universidad de Sevilla (SPAIN)
Other partners > VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland Ltd (FINLAND)
Laboratory name:
Deposited On:04 Mar 2016 08:25

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