A process for more significant social and economic impact
The University of Antwerp is an international university that aims to benefit the development, dissemination and use of scientific knowledge through its innovative research, academic training and services. Valorisation and development play an essential role in this as a recent policy priority at our university. The results show valorisation has been strengthened, supported and stimulated recently. In 2023-24, I want to broaden valorisation, improve it and resolutely opt for beneficial long-term impact.
Valorisation and development are when an invention (a new idea, good, service, process, governance or combination thereof) is developed for introduction and distribution on a 'market'. This innovation and diffusion process can be successful only by working together (within the university and with partners outside the university). Innovation takes many forms: product, process, marketing, organisational, governance or social innovation. In addition, we work and think along with system innovations, which fundamentally change how society meets its needs. By working together interdisciplinary, we help realise the necessary system transitions and contribute to solutions for wicked problems such as climate change, poverty, migration, digitalisation, epidemics and sustainable materials.
Valorisation and development are traditionally driven by technology, where we explicitly start from the technology. This is very important, but valorisation is also possible based on a knowledge platform in all disciplines, including those that do not start from the technology but, for example, from the organisation or the process or a combination of a technological and less technological domain. By determining three multidisciplinary valorisation domains at UAntwerp (sustainable chemistry & materials; infectious diseases & environmental health; metropolitanism & smart city, mobility & logistics), we start from the demand (market driven) and the uniqueness of the Antwerp region. Finally, we need to convince policymakers even more of the financing and/or support of socially relevant innovation and valorisation (policy push).
The valorisation of knowledge, built up from innovative research, education and/or services, is a complex, iterative and interactive process. We, therefore, support both the development of knowledge and the interaction between researchers, developers, the business community or social institutions in all follow-up phases. We help to convert that knowledge into a product, a process, an organisation or a business model and monitor the sustainability relevance for the economy and society.
At the university, we transfer knowledge through innovative and well-thought-out collaboration to achieve results (e.g. patents, licences, and companies). An essential component in this is people who each fulfill their role (researchers, entrepreneurs, facilitators, investors), understand, value, and stimulate each other. We give our valorisation managers, and experts balanced, additional, challenging and feasible tasks in a dynamic and transparent system. In doing so, we strengthen the complementarity between the Valorisation Service (inside out) and AVD (Antwerp Valorisation and Development) (outside in).
Finally, the following call
Help determine the future by converting your accumulated knowledge from innovative research, education or services into products, processes, organisational or business models, and entrepreneurship, thus realise socio-economic value creation. Valorisation also offers opportunities for further research, education and services without jeopardising the scientific independence of our university.