What is technology transfer?
Technology transfer is the movement of knowledge and discoveries to the general public. It can occur through publications, students entering the workforce, exchanges at conferences, consultations, and interactions with industry. For the purposes of this guide, however, technology transfer refers to the formal licensing of technology to third parties.
What is the Mauritius Research Council – Technology Transfer Office?
One of the MRC's objectives set forth in the Mauritius Research Council (Amendment) Act 2014 is to ‘encourage commercial utilisation of research and development results in the national interest.’ Technology licensing is part of that objective, helping to transfer the results of research or inventions made within research institutions and enterprises into new products for the public and for the socio-economic development of the country.
The TTO is a unit of the MRC that provides access to services relating to technology transfer and intellectual property matters. The TTO can therefore assist research institutions and enterprises through an accessible source of expertise and experience to protect, manage and market their inventions and research as well as develop strategic collaborations with industry through licensing and sponsored research.
Why would a researcher or entrepreneur want to participate in the technology transfer process?
The reasons are unique to each researcher or entrepreneur, and may include:
• Making a positive impact on society
• Feeling a sense of personal fulfilment
• Achieving recognition and financial reward
• Meeting the obligations of a research/business contract
•Attracting research sponsors or business partners with a view to generate additional institute/enterprise funding
• Creating educational opportunities for students
• Creating new business opportunities for entrepreneurs
• Linking students to future job opportunities
How is technology transferred?
Technology is typically transferred through an agreement in which a TTO grants to a third party a licence to use its intellectual Property Rights (IPR) in a defined technology, sometimes for a particular field of use and/or region of the world. In case of technology not developed by the MRC, the TTO can act as an intermediary to help identify, protect and license the technology to a third party. Such a grant may be exclusive or non-exclusive. The licensee (the third party licensing the technology) may be an established company or a new business start-up. Licences may include terms that require the licensee to meet certain performance requirements and to make financial payments to the licensor (owner) of the IPR.
In cases where the TTO is assigned and manages these IPR, payments received by the TTO are shared with the inventors and also distributed to their respective institutes and enterprises to provide support for further research, business growth, education and participation in the technology transfer process.