Europeans Fabien Lieval and Massimo Paturzo have eagerly learned from brief but intensive experiences with American higher education, research, business and investment cultures.
Lieval, 32, of Rouen, France, and Paturzo, 32, of Cosenza, Italy, say they will use knowledge gained to enhance technology transfer careers at home. They also will be part of Case Western Reserve University's growing international technology-to-business network.
The university's Technology Transfer Office, through its International Resident Affiliate Program, provides sponsoring organizations with a way for selected participants to experience first-hand how valuable research can smoothly transfer into commercial enterprise. Technology transfer is a young but emerging concept in much of Europe.
"Tech transfer is art. It is not a science," Lieval says. "It's based on negotiation and relations with companies. It's a matter of relationships and experience. We don't have the same level of experiences as you have here."
Paturzo has been impressed with team-oriented approaches and highly motivated thinking he has observed.
"It opens your mind," he says. "This experience gives me new ideas and a new method of thinking about procedures and practices."
Both began their visits to the CWRU campus early during the fall semester, with their stays concluding by mid-December. Each intends to take lessons learned back to their home universities (Rouen in France and Calabria in Italy), where health-care research in particular leads to ideas for medical devices and treatments. They intend to look for collaboration opportunities possibly involving CWRU.
"That's a thread in the whole program, for every resident affiliate. We want to have them remain in contact," said Michael F. Allan, CWRU's director of technology transfer biomedical operations. "We hope to be able to identify a researcher in their institutions and a researcher in our institution to work on mutually interesting research. The remaining barrier is that there needs to be some sort of funding for joint research to be jumpstarted."
Each Case Western Reserve University resident affiliate has the opportunity to participate in meetings, courses and workshops at no cost or minimal cost to their sponsoring organizations. Courses are recommended to help affiliates acquire new skills.
Cleveland last year established a sister-city relationship with Rouen, which is located in the Upper Normandy region of France.
"I really want stronger relations between our two cities," Lieval said. "The cardiovascular field is very strong in Rouen. "
Paturzo said methods of commercializing research are more entrenched throughout the United States than in Italy.
"It has been a pleasant surprise for me," he said. "At times, when we think of the U.S., we think of the Eastern and Western Coasts. Now I'm discovering much in between."
Previous CWRU technology transfer resident affiliates are Maddalena Furlan and Andrea Frosini, of Italy, and Tamá s Csö rgo, of Hungary.
Fabien Lieval is the technology transfer manager of the Rouen University Hospital, France. He joined the Rouen UH to create its technology transfer office with the mission to facilitate innovation, support spin-off companies, license technology and establish strategic collaborations. He is the Technology Transfer Office's fourth resident affiliate.
Massimo Paturzo is a Technology Transfer manager at the Liaison Office of the University of Calabria, Cosenza, Italy, where he works as a patent specialist. He is also involved in the creation of the university's business incubator. He is the Technology Transfer Office's fifth resident affiliate.
The International Resident Affiliate Program in Technology Transfer at Case Western Reserve University
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