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Noeleen O'Hara by Noeleen O'Hara

On 29th November 2022 the fourth edition of the ASTP-EU Forum will take place online offering our community of knowledge transfer professionals an opportunity to meet representatives from the European institutions directing the policies which affect their daily work. This event will focus on the EU knowledge valorisation policy as recently implemented based on a proposal for European Council recommendation on the Guiding principles for knowledge valorization.

The new Guiding Principles will replace the Recommendation on the management of intellectual property in knowledge transfer activities issued by the European Commission in 2008. The need to set new objectives and provide updated guidance on knowledge valorisation is based on the conclusion that the research and innovation landscape has changed considerably since 2008 in terms of both actors and the complexity of the ecosystems. In addition, global challenges such as the Covid-19 pandemic have demonstrated the significance and need to valorise research results for the benefit of society.

The Guiding Principles will be supported by Codes of Practice (CoP) to provide hands-on guidance for specific areas of knowledge valorisation. One of the first two CoP being implemented relates to the Smart use of Intellectual Property. This is being developed by a Community of Practice, which involves many ASTP members who shall share their acquired knowledge during next ASTP-EU Forum in November.

The Forum is just one of the many activities that ASTP has developed over the past few years to strengthen its position as an advocate for the profession and to develop strategic alliances. With almost 1400 members ASTP represents the European knowledge transfer community and aspires to become a significant stakeholder for European institutions. The European Commission itself acknowledges the relevance and the role of “intermediary organisations” such as KTOs, TTOs, business incubators and science parks to boost the innovation potential of research and to contribute to maximising the transformation of research and innovation results into solutions that benefit society.

Since 2021, the ASTP Board has included a Vice President Europe, currently Smiljka Vikic-Topic, who oversees advocacy activities, EU policies and strategic alliances. On top of this, the association has recruited a dedicated EU-Policy Advisor and we are happy to welcome Alessandra Baccigotti as a member of the headquarters team. A Europe Committee has also been established which engages ASTP volunteers with experience in EU projects and relations. They support the Board in developing successful strategies for lobbying and advocacy activities towards the European Commission and other relevant policy makers.

ASTP knows well that unity is strength and over the past few months we have engaged with other European associations which support universities and research organisations in areas close to knowledge transfer and innovation and started to develop joint projects and actions.

A successful collaboration with EARMA has reaped benefits as ASTP is now involved in the Horizon Europe project, RM Roadmap, whose objective is to strengthen an inclusive research management community in Europe. Joint actions are also being developed with other, sister organisations to address issues regarding granting Access rights to EIC inventors, according to the rules of the Horizon Europe Grant Agreement. In this public statement ASTP raised concerns on the provisions according to which EIC inventors are granted royalty-free access rights for exploitation purposes, as an alternative solution to the challenges facing knowledge valorisation. The statement has been endorsed by several National Associations, which as part of the NAAC, reflect similar concerns raised by other associations such as the League of European Research Universities (LERU) and The Guild of European Research-Intensive Universities (The Guild).

ASTP knows that advocacy and strategic alliances are the key components to our commitment of strengthening the knowledge transfer community and profession by working with policy makers and stakeholders. It is therefore our pleasure to inform ASTP members that from now on news on EU policies, projects and alliances will be regularly published as part of our astp4EU newsletter. Stay tuned!

Register for the 4th ASTP-EU Forum here

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