TechnischeUniversität Dresden (TUD) – Germany

Knowledge and Technology Transfer at TU Dresden has a long-standing tradition and is continuously
enhanced, in particular under the current provision of financial support from the “Excellence
Initiative” of the German government. The forerunner position of TU Dresden is exemplified by its
amount of granted patents and patent applications, where TU Dresden is the #1 university in
Germany. The ongoing success in Knowledge and Technology Transfer at TU Dresden rests on four
cornerstones: a number of central support measures, engagement in a local network of research
institutions called DRESDEN-concept, TUDAG as a commercialization vehicle and specialized
initiatives at the department level.
TU Dresden has established a number of central support measures that aim at securing research
excellence and speeding-up identification of projects with technology transfer potential, including a
Technology Transfer Office and Project Scouts. Their tasks are to provide in-house support for grant
applications at different levels and with different partners (EU, national, industry) and handling of
administrative requirements regarding technology transfer. The Technology Transfer Office
coordinates activities and assists in legal issues, mainly in terms of intellectual property rights. It acts
as a central point of contact for any researcher in the university. The Project Scouts actively search
for promising projects within departments, provide support for grant applications, particularly those
with strong transfer elements, and engage in internal partner matching.
DRESDEN-concept is a network association encompassing all institutions conducting research in the
region. Dresden has the highest number of researchers per capita of any German city and hosts an
impressive number of institutes from all the major German research societies, including the Max
Planck Society, Fraunhofer Society, Helmholtz Association, and Leibniz Association. The various
organizations have different agendas and missions concerning research and transfer, and the union
within DRESDEN-concept enhances knowledge flows and eases coordination on strategic dimensions.
Provision of shared services in transfer is envisioned for the future.
TUDAG is a legally independent firm, which operates under market conditions and whose shares are
(indirectly) owned by TU Dresden. TUDAG itself hosts several firms and fulfills three distinct roles:
First, it provides post-graduate training and education for industry. Second, it engages in mainly
industry-sponsored research, development and consulting, partly involving researchers from TU
Dresden. Third, it supports spin-off activities from the university and acts as legal partner
representing TU Dresden in equity-for- IP deals.
These centralized elements are complemented by smaller initiatives at the department-level and
below that cover niches, and focus only on few transfer activities each. Examples include “dresden
exists” covering start-up support for students and academic employees, “CIMTT – Centre of
Production Engineering and Management” concentrating in transfer of production know-how to local
small and medium-sized enterprises, as well as the “HighTech Startbahn” initiative, focusing on
gaining venture capital financing and support for young startups in technology intensive industries.