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Directors' Forum: Managing expectations - university management

Join us in Malta for the second Directors' Forum meeting: Managing the expectations of university management and best practices in management and governance of a KTO.

Following the success of the first Directors' Forum in Antwerp 2023, this 2-day event offers another opportunity to meet your peers, exchange ideas and network in an informal setting. This second event will focus on your experiences of managing a KTO and the challenges of managing the expectations of the university's management.

Topics on the agenda include:

  • What mandate should the KTO have?
  • What governance should there be for a KTO?
  • What policies are needed for research and innovation?

The Directors' Forum is an exclusive event, organised by the nominative Special Interest Group and is open to current and former Directors of a Knowledge Transfer Office (KTO) and their senior management and governance. 

You do not need to be an ASTP member to attend. If you are an ASTP member, you can join the Directors' Forum SIG here

The Directors' Forum 2024 is supported by VisitMalta Incentives & Meetings

      • Programme
      • Speakers
      • Venue


      • Tue 05 March 2024

        • 13:30 - 14:00    Bus transfer

          There will be a bus available to take you from the Hotel to the Site Visit location. Meet us at the lobby of the Cavalieri Hotel.

        • 14:00 - 16:00    Site Visit: The Brewhouse

          Join the tour of the Trident Park, the Brewhouse and the Farsons Brewery Experience. 

          The rehabilitation and regeneration of the former Farsons Brewery is the largest industrial conversion of its nature which has been carried out on the island. Located in the Trident Park Complex, known as a Green Office Campus, the Brewhouse is home to The Farsons Brewery Experience. It is an immersive exhibition focusing on the social and industrial history of the Farsons Group, established in 1928 and based at this exact location since 1950. The Experience is a key destination for anyone curious to learn the rich back story to Malta’s leading brewery. 

          The tour will end with a presentation from SuperCharger Ventures Operations Manager, Stefania Duende who shall describe why the company was inspired to open up in Malta, and how the are working with several tiers of the local start-up ecosystem including the university and Malta Enterprise.

        • 16:00 - 16:30    Networking break

          Enjoy a cup of coffee/tea or a pint of beer with a panoramic view of Malta at the Cisk Tap Bar.

        • 16:30 - 17:30    In conversation with: Anton Bartolo, Director for Corporate Research and Knowledge Transfer, University of Malta

          In this session, Anton will share his experience of setting up a small KTO for the first time at a university in a small country with few industry partners and investors. He engaged the consulting arm of Oxford University to learn and establish best practices. What did he use and what did he throw away? How did he fund the office? What was he looking for in first hires? What new initiatives did he need to develop in order to establish international partners and get the first spin-outs and licences out? What did he do to develop the culture of entrepreneurship and commercialisation where there was none before? What mistakes did he make? What can large university KTO’s learn from lean small ones like this and vice-versa. What would he do with an extra €100k funding? What challenges is he facing in the future and how will he rise to them?

        • 17:30 - 18:00    Transfer back to hotel

        • 19:00 - 22:30    Welcome reception and networking dinner

          Don’t miss the opportunity to meet your peers for dinner and networking.

      • Wed 06 March 2024

        • 09:00 - 09:30    Welcome coffee

          Kick off the morning with welcome coffee and networking in Babylon Suite (7th floor) with scenic views of St Julian's Bay. 

        • 09:30 - 10:30    Hot topics: rapid-fire roundtable

          Get into the groove of the day ahead with this rapid-fire questions and answer session where everyone will have the opportunity to discuss a dilemma about leading a KTO.  No presentations, no long-winded answers just quick useful insights and advice from fellow experts.

          Facilitator: Tom Flanagan, Director for Enterprise and Commercialisation, University College Dublin

        • 10:30 - 11:00    Coffee break

        • 11:00 - 11:45    Managing the expectations of university management

          • Where does KT activity fit in the priorities of a Rector?
          • What do university management expect from the KTO?
          • What’s important? What’s not?
          • What mandate should the KTO have?
          • What are the measures of success of a KTO?
          • What does a Rector worry about when they think about KT activity?

          Keynote speaker: Silvia Lenaerts, Rector Magnificus, Eindhoven University of Technology, former Vice Rector of Valorisation and Development of the University of Antwerp

          Facilitator: Karen Laigaard, Head of Technology Transfer at Technology Transfer Copenhagen, University of Copenhagen

        • 11:45 - 12:30    Discussion groups

          Participants will have time to gather in smaller group to discuss the big take aways from the morning session.

        • 12:30 - 13:00    ASTP plans

          Take this opportunity to feedback to ASTP with ideas and suggestions.

        • 13:00 - 14:00    Lunch

        • 14:00 - 15:30    Best practices: management and governance of a KTO

          Topics on the agenda:

          What mandate should the KTO have?

          • What are the range of activities?
          • What decision-making rests with the KTO?

          What governance should there be for a KTO?

          What policies are needed for research and innovation?

          • What policies should be owned by the KTO and which policies owned by others? IP, State Aide, Export controls, COI, etc
          • What are the contentious issues that need to be addressed by each of the policies?

          What governance should a KTO have?

          How to evolve a classical KTO into a version 2.0?

          What are the contentious issues that need to be addressed by each of the policies?

          Brief introduction and break into discussion groups, followed by feedback to the full group.

          Facilitator: Paul Van Dun, General Manager, KU Leuven Research and Development, Belgium

        • 15:30 - 16:00    Coffee break

        • 16:00 - 17:00    Wrap up - roundtable discussion

          Key insights from the day, tips on running a KTO successfully.

          Facilitator: Tom Flanagan

        • 17:00 - 17:30    Closing reception



      Venue - Cavalieri Art Hotel

      Spinola Road, St Julian's STJ 3182, Malta

      The Directors’ Forum will be held at the Cavalieri Art Hotel.
      Address: Spinola Road St. Julian's  STJ 3019, Malta

      Room rates
      • Single Deluxe Marina room on BB basis   – €65 per room per night.
      • Single Deluxe Seaview room on BB basis – €80 per room per night

      For reservation, kindly email Ms. Bernice Bugeja bbugeja@cavalierihotel.com directly and quote “ASTP” in the subject.
      The room will be on first come first serve basis.

      Other hotels in the vicinity. 
      1. Hotel Argento Malta (500m from Cavalieri Art Hotel)
      2. Mercure St. Julian's Malta (550m from Cavalieri Art Hotel)

      Conference Galleries

      View photos from past ASTP Annual Conferences

      Thanks to our partners and sponsors

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