Seven singularities of Transnational Technology Transfer in MED-region.
One of the most relevant objectives of MET3 project is to adapt tools and TT solutions to the specific conditions within the MED-region markets.
Therefore, it is quite interesting to identify objectively and with realistic assessments which are the “regional singularities” of the Mediterranean Basin that must be considered during the design process of the TTT-MED-Model.
After two years experience in the project, we can say that the factors of special importance that make a difference for the Transnational Technology Transfer in MED-regions are:
– Wide diversity of LANGUAGES, between countries that do not have either a long tradition of foreign languages speaking (this introduces additional complexity and increases the costs of the Technology Matchmaking processes; making the mutual approach between partners quite slow and hard to close TT agreements)
– Geographic fragmentation that causes that the travels and meetings aren’t cheap enough to overcome the natural tendency to endogamy (“to look for the solutions at the neighbor’s”), and to search TT agreements possibilities with foreign partners than with national market agents.
– Significant disparity in the level of scientific-technical and entrepreneurial development between MED-regions: this factor does not have to become a problem, in case that it implies certain complementariness, but it’s really difficult to reach a consensus about homogeneous TTT model.
– Similar economic and environmental problems (ex. Water management, Energy efficiency, Tourism, etc.) that cause many research groups work on the same subjects, developing similar technological solutions. This status quo reinforces the perception of getting into rivalry, more than potential collaboration.
– MED-regions demonstrate more of a disposition towards close cooperation within the scientific networks with North European or with researchers from USA, instead of with Mediterranean’s. To say it on more visual mode, there is usually major disposition and interest on South-North alliances, than South-South ones. It occurs because of the North’s R&D centres and enterprises are perceived as more prestigious and due to the limitations of the South partners there isn’t enough to get learn from them during the TTT process.
– MED-region companies’ contribution to R&D is very low-profile, and they usually don’t collaborate with the research and innovation centers; not even with those of their own region (so it is quite difficult to make them establish the agreements with a foreign partner.)
– MED-regions Universities and Research Centers has a very little entrepreneurial spirit, and are weakly oriented towards the innovation demands of the productive sector.
This reflection has helped a lot with the collaborative establishment of the process and strategies of TTT among the partners of MET3 partners. Taking into consideration all this singularities is required to make the model work.