Technology and knowledge transfer: the numbers for 2021

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In 2021, public research institutes in Switzerland managed nearly 3,500 research contracts with public and private partners, filed 335 patent applications and created 83 spin-offs. These are the main results of the annual report of the Swiss Technology Transfer Association (swiTT), which collected data from the two Federal Institutes of Technology, eight universities, seven universities of applied sciences and two research institutes.

Collaborations between academia and industry are a key aspect of technology and knowledge transfer and benefit both academia and the economy. For this reason, swiTT analyses the situation in Switzerland by evaluating different parameters and presenting some case studies.

As for USI and its affiliates Institute for Research in Biomedicine (IRB) and Institute of Oncology Research (IOR), the Research and Transfer Service in 2021 handled 40 research contracts with companies and 70 agreements related to intellectual property and technology transfer. A total of 8 new patent applications were filed for 13 inventions evaluated.

USI is also one of the case studies cited in the swiTT report for the collaboration between the Institute for Research in Biomedicine in Bellinzona and Humabs BioMed SA (now part of the Vir Group). Established as an IRB spin-off, Humabs BioMed developed, through a patented technology exclusively licensed by IRB, and later commercialised monoclonal antibodies for COVID effective against several variants of SARS-CoV-2.