The policy of Technology Transfer

The Technology Transfer is an important contributing factor to the outward appearance of a Research Institute.
However, the attention towards these themes does not necessarily indicate a change in INFN scientific policy
which is mainly dedicated to promoting fundamental research. This one only provides really innovating
proposals to be integrated to the production system in the future.
It is a present world-wide trend to grant priority to research programs with immediate application. The origin of
this new policy derives perhaps from a sort of "intellectual snobbishness" of the research institutes which do not
pay attention, particularly in Europe, to the needs of the industrial sector. The goal is to pay more attention to the
country's technological reality in order  to reach a full integration with it.
Furthermore, the collaboration between the research and the industrial sector helps understand how basic
research is active and extremely important to obtain a real technological growth.
The relationship between the INFN and the industrial system should be helpful to make information and
know-how acquisition and exchange easier.
The scientific and technological structures should be more attentive to the external demand and less interested in
scientific results far from the real enterprises needs.

The Technology Transfer has two main issues: 

  • Transfer of technologies, developed within scientific programs, addressed to Italian and European
    enterprises;

  • Training and requalification of the SME staff by means of courses carried out within INFN Units.

Moreover, the importance of a close interrelation with the National Industrial Associations (Confindustria,
Confapi, Confartigianato, etc.) should be stressed in order to intensify the presence of the INFN on the
Territory and in the industrial sector.

It must be realized that the INFN is not closed in its ivory tower, but it is useful to the development of the country.
For this reason a National Co-ordination Unit for Technology Transfer (CNTF), composed of representative members of INFN 19 Units, 8 linked groups (located within the most important Italian Universities) 4 National Laboratories and CNAF, has been recently founded in order to establish relations with the local infrastructures.
The contribution of National Committees is also important to point out INFN possible offers, especially the ones
related to microelectronics, precision mechanics, materials technology and computing networks development. To
them is also given the assignment to evaluate this kind of offers and the scientific projects with technological content.

Together with the industrial and handicraft associations, the INFN Units and the National Laboratories will then
consider the opportunity of starting training programs for external staff in line with the structure
receptiveness. To reach this purpose the INFN will have to provide a set of rules and financial resources. 

This promotional purpose should be also developed in a close collaboration with the newly born Technology
Transfer Department at CERN which attends to establishing contacts between Italian and European enterprises
so to encourage the opening of new markets.
An important step of this program is, of course, represented by the presence of the INFN within the European
Community in order to allow a concrete step forward in the programs stated in the EC 5th Plan and to develop
joint actions in collaboration with small and medium industries.

This program is no doubt ambitious and should be step-by-step examined, but everyone collaboration can help the
INFN playing a determining role in the technological development of the country.