Article: article from journal or magazin.
Spin-offs from CERN and the case of TuoviWDM
Projects in big science generate technology that may have considerable impact on industry. Technology transfer is widely regarded as valuable in creating new products and companies, but the most effective modes of operation for this activity are rarely understood. This paper documents the catalyzing events, key obstacles and other influences at CERN during the 4-year journey of the TuoviWDM software project from its initiation in 1995 to the launching of a spin-off company in late 1998. The description proceeds in chronological order and focuses on the technological and organizational factors that have affected the innovation process. The TuoviWDM software is a WWW-based extended enterprise interface to product data management systems and to data vaults residing in proprietary information systems. A group of organizations uses this integrated whole to store and access information and to manage operational processes. The large projects and global user base at CERN provided the development team with an extremely flexible, occasionally surprisingly benign, and always challenging environment to develop the system. The opportunities to exploit the diversity hidden in the world's largest particle physics laboratory are immense. However, this case has again demonstrated that in a public sector organization the climate, the procedures, and the decision-making bodies, which are related to creation of technology and to technology transfer, may be supportive, irrelevant or even counter-productive. The goal of technology transfer activity should be to fertilize the industries of the participating countries rather than to try to obtain additional finance for the research organization. Policy makers need to compare the weight of these two aspects when technology transfer policies are formulated for big science organizations.
Engineering data management, World Wide Web, Technology transfer, Big science, Software development, Spin-off company, Intellectual property right
Web of science
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