Talking Tech Transfer

Beyond the Breakthrough

It’s time to let you know what we have planned. We’re re-launching as Beyond the Breakthrough!

Over the past three and a half years, and 100 episodes, one key takeaway has been the fact that the public still doesn’t understand how university research gets into the marketplace — and that needs to change.

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Christophe Haunold: University of Luxembourg’s Office for Partnership, Knowledge and Technology Transfer (PaKTT)

A global platform for tracking tech transfer data — is creating something like this even possible? That is what Christophe Haunold, head of the University of Luxembourg’s Office for Partnership, Knowledge and Technology Transfer (PaKTT), wants to get off the ground. If anyone can create this it would be Christophe, a seasoned builder who founded the tech transfer office at the Institut National Polytechnique de Toulouse, as well as Toulouse Tech Transfer (one of 13 regional tech transfer companies in France) and then the tech transfer office at the University of Luxembourg.

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Treasure hunting for seed pearls

Today’s is a slightly different episode of the podcast as we’re bringing you a recording of a recent webinar, Treasure hunting for seed pearls at universities and national labs. The panel featured Lisa Smith, chief executive of Midlands Mindforge, Imec.xpand partner Tom Vanhoutte, Chevron Technology Ventures’ Gautam Phanse and Stanford spinout Cala Health CEO Renée Ryan.

The panel discussed a whole range of ways of increasing spinout success — from finding creative ways to bring in entrepreneurs to having corporate partners as “builders” rather than “consumers”.

This is an edited version of the webinar — you can find the full version at which includes slides with interesting data. Visit that link to sign up for future webinars as well — it’s free.

Tom Flanagan: NovaUCD

University College Dublin has racked up a number of firsts, including creating Ireland’s first spinout unicorn, Wayflyer. Tom Flanagan, director of enterprise and commercialisation at the university’s innovation office NovaUCD gives us the insider view on how the ecommerce company was born.

UCD also established the first Irish quantum spinout, Equal1 (read our in-depth profile here), and was one of the founding limited partners — together with Trinity College Dublin and Atlantic Bridge — of the University Bridge Fund in 2016. And it continues to set the pace: earlier this year, Tom’s team welcomed an expert in international innovation through a French embassy programme that looks to increase collaboration across borders — this, too, is a first in Ireland.

UCD is also leaning into a unique advantage in agtech: it’s the only university in Ireland — and one of only a few in Europe — that owns a farm, where it runs a programme for pre-seed startups to develop their products. I asked Tom what prompted him to create the programme and what he’s learned from it thus far.

Andreea Serban: KIDoc & PhylloPharma

Andreea Serban is a doctor specialising in paediatric surgery and an entrepreneur who’s founded her own healthtech, KIDoc, and joined another, PhylloPharma, as chief operating officer. She’s also a 2022 fellow of the Young Transatlantic Innovation Leaders, a US Department of State programme that invites young entrepreneurs from Europe to the United States, that brought her to the University of Pennsylvania and introduced her to her mentor Michael Poisel, a previous guest on this show.

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Bryn Rees: CU Boulder

Bryn Rees is the associate vice chancellor for research and innovation, and managing director of Venture Partners at CU Boulder — one of two tech transfer offices in the University of Colorado system.

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Neil Gordon: Trinity Innovation

Ireland, despite its small size, is home to major global tech and pharma companies, and punches above its weight in terms of spinouts that tackle global challenges from sustainable agriculture to cancer vaccines to AI-driven language monitoring, Trinity College Dublin’s Neil Gordon tells us.

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USIT Guide: A live discussion

Earlier this year, TenU — an international collaboration between 10 tech transfer offices in the US and Europe developing best practices — launched the University Spinout Investment Terms (USIT) Guide. Developed together with law firms and VC firms throughout the UK, the USIT Guide aims to accelerate negotiations between universities and investors and solve some of the common sticking points in these discussions.

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Some snippets of upcoming interviews plus an explanation for why we’ve been on a break which involves a peek behind the scenes of Talking Tech Transfer.

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Hello dear listener. You’re probably wondering where the latest episode is and so I wanted to give a quick update, as scheduling conflicts — life happens! — unfortunately mean we’ll be on a short unplanned break.

But we are coming back — in fact I’ve got some phenomenal guests lined up for you that will absolutely be worth the small wait. So: stay subscribed and, if you’re still a little new here, do take this opportunity to catch up on the back catalogue — there have been many wonderful guests on Talking Tech Transfer since the very first episode that you might not have heard yet.

Thank you for listening. We’ll be back in a few weeks!

“Funky Chunk” Kevin MacLeod (
Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0