In May 2005, we undertook a pre-operational study on behalf of the European Commission Directorate General for Research, whose objective was to assess the feasibility and define the operational modalities of a new type of targeted risk capital and technology transfer investment vehicle linking centres of excellence from different European countries. We worked together with the EIB and a number of experts in the field of technology transfer, venture capital and technology, including a law firm specialised in intellectual property. As a result, we participated in two consortia selected for the European Commission 6th framework programme which were the first projects operating under technology transfer.
The aim was to bridge the financing gap between research and early stage financing through a new scheme. A further project aim was to provide the venture capital industry with improved deal flow stemming from research institutions. Our study has diagnosed that there is a clear market failure in relation to the commercialisation of research in Europe in the area of technology transfer, with a significant and growing gap relative to the United States. In response, our Technology Transfer programme reviews measures which would better support the needs of research organisations and would allow capitalisation on European "home grown" resources by means of flexible support mechanisms.
Our role in these consortia are to design products which can finance the commercialisation of research and development in the biotechnology and ICT sectors. In parallel, we actively select technology transfer investment opportunities on a pilot basis.