TNO Researchers

Technology Transfer plays an important role in ensuring that TNO knowledge reaches impact. It involves bringing innovation to the market through the creation of spin-off companies or licensing technologies to existing companies. Whenever you encounter a TNO innovation for which you see market potential, you can apply for the Tech Transfer programme. The programme consists of 3 phases:

  • Phase 1: Market feasibility study.
    Researching the market need and what the best route to get the innovation to the market is. This is often turns out to be a license to an existing company or the creation of a new venture. If the best route to the market is a new venture, phase 2 is initiated.
  • Phase 2: Setting up the company.
    In this phase we help you with the preparation of setting up the company.
  • Phase 3: Attracting external financing.
    Once the spin-off is established, we support the founding team in attracting external financing.

Read more information about the Tech Transfer process here.

The Tech Transfer team has expertise in the field of venturing, investment, licensing, IP scouting, deal making, project management and stakeholder management. If you are curious about these topics, get in touch or visit the Tech Transfer knowledge centre. We organize several gatherings each year to learn more about what it means to become a TNO spin-off entrepreneur. Here, we invite current entrepreneurs to share their experiences. If you want to stay updated about such sessions, please fill in this form.

What makes an ideal Tech Transfer project?

The maturity of the technology, team ambitions, IP position and alignment with TNO strategy are all taken into account when applying for the Tech Transfer programme. If you are in doubt or if you think you might be too early, please still get in touch to discuss.

  • TRL level of at least 4. Additional funding can be requested if R&D activities are necessary for a Proof of Concept (PoC), e.g. to strengthen the IP position, making it a more attractive proposition for investors.
  • Entrepreneurial ambitions from the team. Almost all current spin-offs are founded by former colleagues. We can aid with getting the right team together. If you don't have aspirations to found a company, we can forward the technology to an incubation programme. A license to an existing company might also be an option for market introduction of the technology.
  • Solid IP position. Good protection of intellectual property through patents and copyrights are crucial to attract investors and partners. During the Tech Transfer project, we can help with executing an IP analysis.
  • Alignment with strategic ambitions of TNO. The market introduction of the technology should be in line with the wishes of TNO. During the process, we involve the directors of the relevant unit to make sure the strategic goals are aligned.

Submitting an application

Applications can be submitted at any time during the year by:

  • (i) any TNO employee who believes an innovation should be launched on the market via the Tech Transfer Programme, or
  • (ii) a TNO market director who elects to take the spin-off route based on strategic portfolio management.

The application will then be assessed by the Tech Transfer Board. An application entails a completed application form and a video pitch. Get in touch for a intake conversation if you have an idea for a Tech Transfer project and to learn more about the application process.