The IATECH website is designed as a dynamic and interactive communication tool in order to facilitate the information flow between the association and its members, among the members and between the association and the innovation support and technology transfer community worldwide. It consists of a
• Home page
• Members Directory and Advanced Who is Who in Innovation
• Events pages
• Services section
• Links to technology transfer websites
• Special Interest Sections pages
News stories are provided in both printed and electronic form, and aim to fulfil three purposes:
• to update members on new developments within the association
• to circulate news about IATECH members to other members
• to alert members to what is new on the world innovation support and technology transfer scene.
News is delivered via the IATECH Focus newsletter (printed version) and contains sections on the association's events and services, members' own news items, portraits of new members and methodology and special feature articles.
News is also delivered via the website in the News Section and through RSS feeds and the IATECH Innovation Journal or Weblog. IATECH members are encouraged to supply news articles for the website and become a guest editor for the IATECH Weblog.
Information is sent to members in e-mail blasts in the following selected areas
• IATECH Tenders Alert Service gives regular updates of calls for proposals, calls for tender and expressions of interest for collaborative projects, studies and consultancy assignments in the field of R&D, new technologies, innovation and regional development
• Partner searches to form international project consortia
• Other announcements supplied by members, e.g. job vacancies, event announcements.
The IATECH annual conference takes place on the last Thursday/Friday in April and is the major networking event of the year, attracting an audience of 100-120 members and other representatives of innovation support and technology transfer organizations from African countries. It is generally hosted by an IATECH member and the location changes country each year. The conference consists of:
• Plenary sessions with keynote speakers from government, industry and academia covering state-of-the-art topics in the field of innovation support and technology transfer
• Parallel sessions and workshops on specialized sub-themes
• Other announcements supplied by members, e.g. job vacancies, event announcements
• A tools exhibition and optional visits to R&D sites and high-tech installations
• A networking and social programme.
The purpose is to build a quality, state-of-the-art, on-line resource of innovation tools contributed by innovation support providers (ISP) wherever they may be active in the world.
Access to the tools is nevertheless reserved for IATECH members
Innovation support providers (ISP) face enormous pressures and challenges to supply value added services to their client companies who are in search of more efficient products, technologies and management practices.
This SIS was first formed in 2002 by Gordon Ollivere of RTC North (UK), IATECH President from 2000 to 2006 with a core group of 30 members.
Its main purpose was to carry out a programme of peer audits to benchmark operating efficiency in technology transfer organizations
The IATECH Innovation Tour offers a unique opportunity to visit and gain first-hand knowledge of leading organisations working in the field of university-industry collaboration, research commercialisation, academic entrepreneurship and knowledge-based company creation in some of the world's leading innovative regions.
The association lays particular emphasis on creating opportunities for members to acquire new methodologies and to develop new skills which will benefit their own career, the diversity of services offered by their organization and, just as importantly, the performance of their client companies.
This is done through stand-alone workshops and seminars or as part of the programme of the annual conference, or as part of the CESBUM–anchored IATECH training.
The association is also receptive to organizing training events as collaborative ventures with other professional groupings active in innovation support and technology transfer at African level.
These one or two-day events are delivered by experienced practitioners on proven and successful techniques and methods for managing technology transfer and supplying innovation support services to firms. Exemplar topics include
• Licensing and the negotiation of a technology transfer deal
• Technology watch for competitive advantage
• Marketing of scientific results and services
• How to write a regional technology plan
• Evaluating the business ideas of start-up entrepreneurs
• Commercialization of technological inventions
To be held each year in the third week of September, in different states of Nigeria and other African locations, the training is structured as a 5-day skills development course, delivered by an international corps of experienced and respected technopreneurs, innovation support and technology transfer practitioners, for the benefit of practitioners from all areas of the profession.
The course consists of self-contained, one-day workshops on proven and successful techniques and methodologies. Group work and case studies are used throughout to illustrate and apply the theory to real life scenarios. In addition, the training offers a unique multi-cultural and international learning environment which also provides opportunities for long-term professional networking.
Exemplar topics of course content include :
Communicating technology opportunities
Assessing the commercial potential of early-stage new technologies
Introduction to creative problem-solving techniques
New product development through creativity
Maximizing profits from science and technology
Building success in international project management
How to set up and run a technology incubator