Valorisation is the use, for socio-economic purposes, of the results of research financed by public authorities. It represents society's direct and indirect return on the public sector's investment in research and development.
The approaches to valorisation and its potential benefits for the different stakeholders have improved significantly in Europe over the past 20 years, notably due to the implementation of increasingly professionalised approaches to the management of intellectual property. More recently, the growing emphasis on open innovation has strengthened the cooperation between public research centres, universities (which are also referred to as public research organisations) and the business sector.
There are 4 main approaches to the valorisation of research results:
- open science model: valorisation is primarily effected through education and the publication of research results.
- technology transfer model (management and use of intellectual property rights): public research organisations can retain intellectual property and exploit it through licensing, which may be exclusive.
- open innovation model or exchange of knowledge: this recent development is a consequence of the industrial revolution referred to as the knowledge economy.
- creation of new activities(spin-offs) based on the results produced by universities and other public research centres.
Why valorise research results?
Luxembourg encourages researchers to valorise their research results for several reasons.
Valorisation helps to accelerate scientific progress: the transfer of a new technology between two or more public- or private-sector partners who already master technologies in the relevant field can enable them, for example, to develop new products and services.
It also helps to support the economic development of Luxembourg and preserve its competitiveness: the valorisation of innovative results contributes to growth in the Grand Duchy by adding to the range of products offered by an existing business or by stimulating the creation of new businesses, thus helping to boost the country's competitiveness.
Moreover, the valorisation of research results helps to drive the emergence of a new way of funding research: the transfer of a technology into the socio-economic domain is based on a contract, which sets out terms and conditions for the financial returns deriving from commercial uses of the invention. This income can be shared by the inventors and the organisation which owns the technology. The organisation can re-invest its share of the profits in research.
Valorisation can also generate additional income. This additional income can then be shared by the inventor(s) and their organisation. Article 13 of Luxembourg's modified law of 20 July 1992 relating to the modification of the patenting system for inventions stipulates that employers who derive significant profits from a patent must allocate a fair share of these profits to the inventor.
Support for valorisation
A range of support and coaching services is available to researchers who are taking steps to valorise their research results.
This text is based on a report by Dr Gilles Capart.