The UCC Office of Technology Transfer (OTT) is part of the university’s Research and Innovation Office. Established in 2006 to build on the previous Industrial Liaison function, its role is to provide the necessary resources and services to bring research and commercial expertise together to address market needs while also providing a return to the university to further advance its research mission.
The Office of Technology Transfer is responsible for the capture, protection and commercialisation of university intellectual property, supporting the effective engagement of enterprise with university research, and creating a culture of innovation and entrepreneurship in the university. It is also responsible for the operation of the gateway UCC Innovation and Incubation Centre and the IGNITE Centre, UCC’s Graduate Innovation Business Centre.
UCC plays a key role in the development of Ireland’s knowledge-based economy and provides strong support for entrepreneurship and new business creation, with entrepreneurship education modules available to all students. UCC’s focus is on research and innovation that leads to the creation of high-value jobs. The exploitation of research through technology transfer, licensing and spin-out companies will provide the value and return on investment.
Since the early 1980s, UCC has been at the national forefront in developing a capacity for commercialisation of its research outputs and supporting industry. It was the first Irish university to establish a Technology Transfer policy, a dedicated Industrial Liaison Office and to establish a campus company. Since 1982, UCC has established 18 high-potential start-up (HPSU) companies, 10 of which were formed in the last five years. Most have proven to be robust and durable companies, employing highly qualified third- and fourth-level graduates and experienced entrepreneurs in the region. By 2012, 15 of these companies were still in operation and employing over 150 people.
In recent years, UCC has significantly enhanced its potential to further support entrepreneurship, innovation and collaborative R&D through the establishment of, and dedication of resources to, the gatewayUCC Innovation and Incubation Centre and the IGNITEprogram. By the end of 2013, gatewayUCC will have incubated 14 companies involving 100 jobs operating in such diverse areas as life sciences, medical foods, energy management, IT and medical diagnostics. The IGNITEprogram has also supported 27 companies between 2011 and 2013.
Prof Anita Maguire, Vice President of Research and Innovation