I'm a physicist, and I've been working on semiconductor materials and technologies for about ten years, having a wide variety of roles from researcher to proposal manager to the business developer in charge of the commercialization of the research outcomes. During my career, I had the chance to be part of the R&D community, both academic and industrial, and interact closely with the business side with its priorities, dynamics, and philosophy.
I'm part of the Industrial Liaison team at Istituto Italiano di Tecnologia (IIT) - Technology Transfer Directorate.
Our mission is to translate IIT's technologies from the labs to commercial applications by setting up R&D agreements with companies and institutions. We support our partners' C-level executives and R&D managers in searching for cutting-edge technologies to address specific needs, make their processes, products, and services more competitive, or even investigate new business opportunities. On the IIT side, we help the researchers identify and assess the commercial potential of their discoveries, promote them to prospective industrial partners, and cooperate closely with our colleagues specializing in IP and licensing management.
IIT's industrial collaborations have been growing steadily since the foundation of IIT in 2006. More than 800 agreements have been signed, resulting in more than 200 ongoing commercial projects. Commercial projects have raised more than 40 million euro in funding and employed more than 100 researchers per year in the past three years. These projects come in all shapes and sizes: they span from classical sponsored research or one-off service agreements up to the Joint Labs, long term (three to five years) strategic cooperation on specific research topics, carried out by IIT and company staff, either at our premises or company premises. The cooperation opportunities are tailored for businesses of all shapes and sizes. For example, we currently have more than 25 active Joint Labs with start-ups, SMEs, major Italian companies, and international corporations.