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Evaluation of the Technology Translator Project: final report


The Technology Translator (TT) project in digital communications aimed to help small and medium enterprises (SMEs) find academic partners for technological research and development, and then to have a successful collaboration. The evaluation aimed to: examine the operation, management and appropriateness of the project; compare it with best practice; assess actual and potential outputs and impacts; and consider whether the project should be expanded.


The methodology consisted of: interviews and consultations with the Enterprise Network and partner organisations; and feedback from firms and university participants (face-to-face, where possible).


Suggests that the TT project has: a high additionality, and future impacts are likely to be high; encouraged partners to work together by addressing the ‘information market failure’; and ‘added value’. Notes that the project has made progress on establishing collaborative projects, but there have been no products or processes developed or licences granted as a result of TT.


For the current TT project, recommends that: focus is maintained on digital communications technology in digital technology companies; collaborative research is actively marketed to firms and academics; the target for agreed collaborations is reduced to 15; time is allotted to encourage firm to firm contact; contact is increased with the Technology Transfer in Optoelectronics and Microelectronics (TTOM) initiative; the objective of the project is clearly communicated; each Account Manager is asked in writing for information they require; project outcomes are tracked for final evaluation; and preparations are made to measure economic impact. For a future extended TT project, suggests that: new areas are focused on either university research strengths or clusters of firms represented in the SEEL area; the focus of technology applied in technology firms is maintained; new Technology Translators are affiliated to the department most relevant to their specialism; the AURIL model is used as the basis of the competence assessment of new Technology Translators; and feasibility grants are introduced. Makes a general recommendation that SE take an overall look at the ‘added value’ of Universities’ Commercialisation/Industrial Liaison Officers.

Author O'Herlihy and Co Ltd
Published Year 2009
Report Type Evaluation
  • Sectors
    Digital markets and enabling technologies
  • Enterprise
    Entrepreneurship/new firm formation
  • Innovation
    Commercialisation, Business innovation