Gone are the days of training scientists and engineers only to work for someone else. The range of options and opportunities to create a new business is higher than ever accompanying the rapidly evolving entrepreneurial mindset and community in Europe.
These options include starting your own company, or teaming up with business-minded individuals and startups/corporations to run a successful entrepreneurial endeavour. As such, our R&D centres and Academia across Europe, which have the scientific results and research capability, need to nurture connections with business ecosystems, which can help potential innovations reach the market.
An interesting case study is the INESC TEC spin-off Fibersensing, which combined optical monitoring sensors and advanced analytics, having raised considerable amount of capital (+3M€) from Venture Capital fund Portugal Ventures to continue growing and being acquired by German company HBM in late 2014.
José Manuel Mendonça, President of INESC TEC, reveals that “the effort to economically value the scientific work conducted for over a decade, which resulted in FiberSensing, has been extremely successful.” FiberSensing was founded in 2004 as a technological spin-off of the Institute for Systems and Computer Engineering of Porto – INESC Porto –, and funded by Portugal Ventures and INESC Porto.
Looking back at 2015, COHITEC/ACT by COTEC was awarded the business accelerator of the year in Portugal. It is important to recognise the innovative model behind their strategic partnerships as a key factor in this recent distinction, fuelled by a validated technology commercialization methodology developed by North Carolina State, Brown and Rutgers Universities (USA).