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Evaluation of University to SME Technology Transfer in Opto and Microelectronics (TTOM)


The University to SME Technology Transfer in Opto and Microelectronics (TTOM) project aims to promote greater collaboration between universities and small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs). Grants of up to £5,000 are awarded to a university to perform a feasibility study on a problem relevant to their SME partner. The aim is to establish, then enable, technology transfer projects particularly with a cross-sectoral and inter-disciplinary focus. The TTOM project gives priority to applications in opto and microelectronics technologies with applications in markets such as life sciences, energy, security and defence, automotive and communications.


The study methodology involved: an analysis of programme management information provided by the delivery agent, the Scottish Optoelectronics Association (SOA) and Scottish Enterprise; consultation with SOA and five TTOM university partners; and a telephone survey of fifteen companies which had received support through the TTOM programme.


The report finds that: the programme was successful in promoting greater collaboration between Scottish universities and Scottish SMEs; the TTOM delivery model can be considered to have been successful; the TTOM awards represent an effective starting point in the technology transfer process; and the return on public sector investment is good, with an estimated net GVA impact of £1.8m to date, conservatively estimated to rise to £9.3m by early 2011.


It is recommend that the TTOM model should be continued, with resources concentrated on smaller firms as this is where impacts are likely to be greatest and deadweight lowest. Consideration should be given to increasing the level of grant funding available through the TTOM awards and the programme should be rolled out to other Scottish Enterprise priority industries. The balance of TTOM themed networking events to funded SME projects should be monitored to ensure that the optimum balance of information dissemination and grant assistance is maintained.

Author GEN Consulting; O'Herlihy and Co
Published Year 2009
Report Type Evaluation
  • Sectors
    Digital markets and enabling technologies
  • Innovation