T3N Conference 2016

Ecosystem Players of Technology Transfer were at the T3N 2016 Conference in Ankara

Turkey Technology Transfer Network - T3N 2016 Conference was held at Ankara Bilkent Hotel on July 16, 2016. The conference started with the welcome speech made by the Secretary General of Technology Development Foundation of Turkey, Dr. A. Mete Çakmakcı, who leads the project. Opening speeches of the conference were made respectively by the Vice President of TÜBİTAK, Prof. Dr. Mehmet Çelik; EU Financial Programs Head of the General Directorate of European Union and Foreign Relations of Ministry of Science, Industry and Technology, Murat Altun and Head of the Economic and Social Development of European Union Delegation to Turkey, François Begeot, .

The Team Leader of the project, Deniz Bayhan summarized the objectives of the project as follows; development of technical capacities of Technology Transfer Offices in Turkey (TTO), R&D commercialization strategy of TUBITAK as well as revision of the relevant support programs and sourcing technology projects for the TTH Turkey Funds that are ACT Venture Partners and Diffusion Capital Partners-DCP).

Over 150 people attended the conference and TTOs showed great interest. There were very esteemed speakers from the United States of America and France. As the keynote speaker Dr.Rathindra DasGupta, who was the former Program Director of the American National Science Foundation (NSF), mentioned the significance of the university-based technology transfer outputs. After the keynote speaker, VentureWell Program Director, Heath Naquin, who is responsible for the training and strategy development activities in the TTA-Turkey AdviSeNet Project, talked about importance of having National Technology Transfer Platform. Later, Gilles Le Cocguen, who is the Head of EuroQuity, Bpifrance gave information about Réseau C.U.R.I.E. which is an collaboration platform in France.

In the second session of the conference, the requirements of a successful business development and successful technology transfer and the importance of investment funds were discussed with two panels. In the first panel chaired by Duygu Öktem who is responsible for the business developing activities of the TTA-Turkey AdviSeNet Project; Ahmet Rıza Balım who is the Secretary of the TÜBİTAK Technology Transfer Mechanisms Supporting Group Committee, Eli Velasquez who is the Enterprise Developing Director of Texas University and Önder Yılmaz who is the Founder Director of the Sehir University TTO talked about the elements of successful technology transfer activities with different country experiences. The major remarks were the following;

  • Four things that affect the success of the tech transfer: vision of the university, team, partnerships and internationalization.
  • Customer of a patent and commercialization roadmap of a patent is more important than the number of patents.
  • Lack of education is one of the biggest challenges.

Doğan Taşkent, other team member responsible for business development of the TTA-Turkey AdviSeNet Project, chaired the panel where the importance of the presence of funds is discussed. In the panel, Altan Küçükçınar, from Diffusion Capital Partners (DCP) and Gürcan Ozan, from ACT Venture Partners gave information about their investments. The other panelist Gilles Le Cocguen, shared his experience about the success of EuroQuity platform matching investors with companies where as Faz K. Bashi, a member of the Board of Directors of the Life Sciences Angel Investor Network declared that angel investor and risk capital investments are the mechanisms completing each other. The major remarks were the following;

  • The future will be more difficult if TTOs don’t grow new ones real fast.
  • Academic startups should be educated on the concept of the faster commercialization as well as ‘investment for share’ concept.
  • The importance of the early risk sharing was emphasized.
  • The immaturity of the startups on the TRL and management levels.
  • The need for VCs to operate more like ’friendly capitalists’ and not hard filtering mechanisms.

In the last session of the conference, licensing and incubation processes were discussed with two successful examples. The first successful example was given with licensing and spin-off success stories from France by SATT Nord Director, Christine Useille. Eli Velasquez, Enterprise Development Director of the Texas University, shared technology transfer office and incubation management processes in USA.