Close
#EXPOQUIMIA2023
16/05/2022

Nora Ventosa: “Public-private collaboration is essential for transfer and innovation to take place”

Nora Ventosa is a chemical engineer specialising in Organic Chemistry from IQS and holds a PhD from Ramon Llull University. She is currently a research professor at the Institute of Materials Science of Barcelona (ICMAB-CSIC). She is also president of the TECNIO association, made up of all the universities and research centres in Catalonia that have groups that have received the TECNIO distinction from the ACCIÓ agency of the Generalitat de Catalunya. She is also a founding partner of the spin-off Nanomol Technologies, an example of technology transfer and innovation.

Nora Ventosa is a chemical engineer specialising in Organic Chemistry from IQS and holds a PhD from Ramon Llull University. She is currently a research professor at the Institute of Materials Science of Barcelona (ICMAB-CSIC). She is also president of the TECNIO association, made up of all the universities and research centres in Catalonia that have groups that have received the TECNIO distinction from the ACCIÓ agency of the Generalitat de Catalunya. She is also a founding partner of the spin-off Nanomol Technologies, an example of technology transfer and innovation.

Nora Ventosa chairs the technology transfer working committee of Expoquimia, Eurosurfas and Equiplast, leading trade fair events that will take place from 30 May to 2 June 2023.

It has long been said that, despite the circumstances, the level of research in our country is very high? Do you think so?

Indeed, the level of research in our country is quite high, although investment is significantly lower than in other European countries. The policies and programmes that have been implemented, both in Catalonia and Spain, have been effective in increasing research results. The problem, since 2010, is the low incorporation of new staff into universities and research centres, which is already beginning to affect the active force to carry out research.

And also, it is said that the research that is developed in research centres does not reach the company…

This is true. We are currently excellent in research, but we have a very low innovation performance compared to other European states and regions. This is very worrying. I believe that, in large part, this is due to the lack of recognition and support given to researchers who, in addition to research, dedicate part of their activity to transferring it (creating spin-offs, collaborating with companies, making patents to protect the knowledge generated and then being able to transfer it, etc…).

You are the founder of a company, Nanomol Technologies, which is an example of technology transfer. Is this the way forward?

I believe that the creation of spin-offs is a good way for new processes and products, developed in universities and research centres, to reach society. The mission of universities and research centres is to generate knowledge, but not to commercialise it.

However, I insist. For products and processes developed in academic environments to reach the market, a certain percentage of researchers in universities and research centres need to interact fluidly and naturally with the business sector.

In this sense, what should be the role of public-private collaboration so that theoretical advances reach society?

Public-private collaboration is essential for transfer and innovation to take place. This collaboration must be well regulated, which is why the Research Results Transfer Offices (OTRIS) in universities and research centres are becoming increasingly important.

Also, what can events such as Expoquimia, Eurosurfas and Equiplast do to promote technology transfer?

These events, with very strong business participation, are ideal for research groups with sufficiently developed results to be attractive to the business and industrial sector to offer them and to establish initial contacts that can later prosper.

What activities do you think could be developed in the framework of these three shows in the field of technology transfer and innovation?

Face-to-face activities to provide companies with quick and concentrated initial access to technologies and products generated within universities and research centres, which are of interest to them, as well as the presentation of new technologies and new products to investors. I think they could be very useful to initiate first contacts and favour transfer processes.

Finally, are you optimistic about the future in this area?

I am optimistic about the possibilities for technology transfer in the field of chemistry and materials. On the one hand, we are still one of the most important centres of the chemical business sector in southern Europe, and on the other hand, we have a very good level of research in chemistry and materials. All we need is a better connection between these two worlds and trade fair events such as Expoquimia, Eurosurfas and Equiplast are optimal environments to promote this.

Barcelona, May 2022

Edu Pérez Moya
93 233 21 66
eperezm@firabarcelona.com