Applied research, a way to influence competitiveness

Applied research, a way to influence competitiveness

Leading innovation nations that have risen steadily in the Global Index rankings over the last 10 years have dynamic innovation systems and combined efficiency in translating applied research resources into innovation.

Applied research and technological development projects aim to integrate technological packages, which result from linking the results of university research with the needs of companies.

To meet this objective, universities and research centers must carry out research valorization activities prior to commercialization. That is, protect the invention (if it is patentable) and analyze the market in order to determine its economic feasibility.

Although universities have technical and scientific documentation systems, it is also required to have quick access to the technological information contained in patent documents, the information contained in these documents offers descriptions of scientific and technical concepts, which make them a fundamental input for the strengthening of current lines of research and a trigger for the orientation of applied research capacities.

Applied research and technological development also require facilities and services such as: workshops, pilot plants, laboratories, as well as the existence and validity of a regulatory framework in accordance with the needs for scaling up processes or building prototypes within the appropriate time frames.

Hence the need for business-academy linkage agreements focused on solving specific problems.

The purpose of applied research is always to culminate with a product or service on the market, or with the adoption of a production process in operation at an industrial level.

Promote the invention, innovation and development of new technologies, demand from universities and research centers the establishment of a system for evaluating and choosing high-risk projects, but with potential for industrial application and, therefore, likely to be attractive to the business sector.

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Thus, universities also need to establish an incentive policy consistent with its application to different areas, some of which are related to proposals to support demand and the strengthening of technology linkage and transfer.

Defining an incentive policy in accordance with the above requires from universities the commitment to recognize the role of researchers in linking actions with companies, where in addition to ensuring a high degree of excellence in scientific matters, it also intends to satisfy the scientific and technological needs of industry and society, and not only of the academic world.

The university system needs to reinforce the mechanisms and instruments to support the productive system, a start is through a catalog of scientific and technological infrastructure, which facilitates that the demands for technological services reach the hands of researchers.

In the medium and long term, this catalog can become a good “observatory” of industrial dynamics, with which various joint research and technological development projects can be built.