3 - Production and commercialisation processes

3.1 - Creating a platform aimed at entrepreneurs for the exchange of ideas and projects


An effective tool in boosting Innovation is the creation of a physical or virtual platform for the exchange of ideas and projects between inventors, entrepreneurs, academics and investors, to encourage direct contact and provide rapid solutions to key elements of corporate entrepreneurship such as funding, Innovation management, and legal or administrative issues. In this respect, the main recommendations are to encourage meetings, maintain an active presence on social networks and organise thematic lectures which can act as a backup for entrepreneurs. The essential aim is to draw attention to results and to improve the transfer of knowledge from the academic to the business world by enabling the generators of new knowledge themselves to interact directly with the market.


Venturefest (Oxfordshire, United Kingdom)

Investors, businesspeople, entrepreneurs and researchers from the county of Oxfordshire (United Kingdom) take part in an annual event to explore potential business opportunities and make new contacts. The event consists of three types of activities: training, innovation and financing.

MIT Global Startup Workshop (MIT, EEUU)

This is probably the most important entrepreneurial conference in the world. The three-day event is organised each year by approximately 30 MIT students who work in close collaboration with partners from a host country. Its objective is to discuss practical measures which can be implemented in the future by students, Universities, investors, public administrations and businesses.

Entrepreneurship Centre (MIT, USA)

 Another key exchange platform is the MIT Entrepreneurship Center, whose mission is to promote and develop different entrepreneurial activities through three main processes:

  • Training: MIT trains and develops executives working in projects and technology companies. The training is delivered by entrepreneurs with significant experience in the business world.
  • Alliances: the centre facilitates partnerships between business and technology, by combining cutting-edge academic research with practical and proven experience. It also interacts with companies and venture capital institutions to provide entrepreneurs with the tools and expertise required to successfully launch new products onto the market.
  • The community: the organisation’s essential aim is to promote and disseminate the main features of entrepreneurship and innovation in Universities themselves, as well as in Businesses and Public Administrations.

The most popular activities in the centre include the Innovation Team (i-Teams, see chapter 2), the Entrepreneurship Lab (where students work in a start-up programme one day a week), and the Global Entrepreneurship Lab (where students work on an international consulting project for entrepreneurial businesses for four months).

Patientslikeme (EEUU)

Social networks are changing the relationship between the main health agents in ways which were unthinkable until very recently. For example, PatientsLikeMe is an online community in which the protagonists are the patients themselves. They exchange clinical and personal information with others who share their disease, to learn from each other. PatientsLikeMe has communities for Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS), Multiple Sclerosis (MS), Parkinson's disease and HIV, amongst others. In June 2009, PatientsLikeMe announced its first partner, the pharmaceutical company UCB, to develop a community for patients suffering from epilepsy.

Implementation process

Agents involved in implementation

The recommendation can be carried out by companies individually, by a group of companies, or in collaboration with the University.

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  1. Interview with Mr. Waller, County Council.
  2. Interview with Mr. Barclay, Regional Liaison Office Oxford University.
  3. http://entrepreneurship.mit.edu/ - MIT Entrepreneurship Center.
  4. http://www.mitgsw.org/about/index.php - MIT Global Startup Workshop.
  5. http://www.patientslikeme.com - Patients’ social network.
  6. http://www.venturefest.com - Business creation networking event.