Around 20 deep tech companies based on breakthrough innovations are created each year by domestic universities and research institutes. According to a study by the European Investment Bank, this figure could be at least doubled by closing the gaps in funding and support services for the commercialization of research results.
The European Investment Bank's Advisory Hub has been commissioned by Business Finland to analyze the effectiveness of technology transfer from Finnish universities and research institutes. Based on its findings, the Advisory Hub has also made recommendations on how research could be used to generate more startups and new business. The analysis included an assessment of the overall approach, the different sources of funding, a proposal for an appropriate funding and investment strategy and a model for data management of technology transfer.
According to the analysis (Business Finland Technology Transfer Initiative), there are six key gaps in the Finnish technology transfer ecosystem that hinder the commercialisation of research results, especially in startups.
"The main gaps identified were the identification and screening of ideas, the conceptualization of ideas, the engagement of experienced commercialisers, the continuity of venture funding, the low level of seed funding and the availability of data related to commercialization projects. Close cooperation between all actors is needed to address these gaps, says senior advisor Jaana Rantanen of Business Finland.
DOUBLING THE NUMBER OF DEEP TECH STARTUPS
According to the report's recommendations, the number of research-based startups could be at least doubled by investing around €100-200 million over five years. Investments could be targeted at areas such as increasing idea screening, preparing for commercialization of research results, early-stage fundraising and advisory services for research-based startups.
Increasing volume requires, among other things, earlier identification and refinement of opportunities, and comprehensive and continuous development of the Finnish RDI environment.
The assignment was carried out in cooperation with the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment, the Ministry of Education and Culture, Tesi and Business Finland Venture Capital Oy.
This article was first published on 23 May by Business Finland.