“From Invention to Innovation” – An IP crash course for KIT members

The training course “From Invention to Innovation”, organised for the fifth time on 15 March 2016 at the Further Education Centre for Technology and the Environment (Fortbildungszentrum für Technik und Umwelt – FTU), has been a great success. More than 40 KIT employees attended the intensive seminar on the topic of intellectual property (IP), which dealt with questions of security and legal foundations of technology transfer at KIT.

Referent Andreas Weddigen

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“From Invention to Innovation” – Patents, licenses, and the perspective of founding

On March 16, 2015, the first of two advanced training events of this year for professional patent use began. KIT employees interested in the protection of intellectual property and technology utilization were invited. Using the title “From Invention to Innovation,” the KIT Innovation Department in cooperation with the Center for Advanced Technological and Environmental Training (FTU) informed its participants about the most important foundations and services at the KIT.

The half-day events of the program for advanced training WaTT (Wissensaufbau und Technologietransfer – Knowledge building and transfer of technology) were directed toward inventions that can develop into innovations through protection, e.g., in the form of patents ranging to commercialization. Innovations can thus find their way into the industry in the form of license agreements (technology transfer) or can form the basis of a spin-off. Technology transfer in the form of a spin-off plays an increasingly important role at the KIT. Therefore, part of the lecture concentrated on the offerings and founding services at the KIT. All participants received insight into the world of startups and spin-offs of the KIT. At the following get-together, there was enough time to reflect on the topics together with the participants. This way, for instance, the question could be resolved whether the spin-offs developed through the institute belong to the KIT or are independent.

Similarly, the advanced training also concretely helped two scientists interested in founding. They had already advanced their startup idea at the KIT accelerator upCAT and were now grateful about the expanded knowledge from the seminar on patents and licenses. Thus, nothing stands in the way of a spin-off. We are crossing our fingers for their startup project!

The next “From Invention to Innovation” advanced training session will take place on October 6, 2015. Mark your calendar or register directly at the FTU. You can find the seminar in the program using the FTU shorthand MB431.

“From Invention to Innovation” – Further education on the topic of technology use

WaTT_260x200The Founders Forge, in cooperation with the Training Center for Technology and Environment (FTU), offer the educational event “From Invention to Innovation” twice a year. The half-day event is targeted towards all KIT employees and tells the participants how they can protect their inventions as intellectual property (IP) and at the same time profit from them.  They get to know the tools of technology transfer and get an impression of the procedure of innovation exploitation at KIT.

On October 7th, a total of 15 participants came together to take part in the series of events. Four topics were addressed in the four hour seminar.

  1. Patent utilization
  2. Market analysis and exploitation strategy
  3. Contract models and design – Beware of traps!
  4. High-tech start-ups from science.

The KIT was represented here in many ways; starting with Ph. D. Candidates, through KIT scientists, up to a professor. The active participation at the seminar shows that the topic “innovation and its exploitation” is an important topic not only among students and scientists but also professors. In discussing the different thematic areas it became apparent that especially the topic patent law poses many questions. For illustration purposes, complicated issues of everyday life were described. The IP consultants of the KIT Innovation Management were in great demand here. They aided the participants with difficult questions. In the seminar, the awareness for patents and their scientific importance, especially as far as technological exploitation is concerned, was raised among all participants.

The next “From Invention to Innovation” course takes place on March 16th, 2015. All scientific employees and managers of the KIT, who want to get to know the basics of a successful patent exploitation, are invited. Registration is already available and can be done through FTU. You can find further information at the Founders Forge.

Basic knowledge for founders in the sciences


Martin Bäuml

The research results of the scientific institutions and institutes at KIT represent a large potential for scientific and technical spin-offs. In order to support employees interested in technology transfer, the KIT Founders Forge offers the further training “professional patent operation” for scientific workers and high-tech founders at KIT. Martin Bäuml, an academic employee at KIT who is interested in startups, participated in the course. In an interview, we asked him about his experiences in the course.

Mr. Bäuml, where and in what subject area do you work at KIT?

I am doing my PhD at the Institute for Anthropomantics at the Faculty of Computer Science. My doctorate deals with face and person recognition, in particular in TV series and movies.

What motivated you to participate in the seminar?

The topic of patents is always involved when working with new technologies. On the one hand, you constantly read about patent litigations in the media. On the other hand, there are also attempts in our group to patent certain technologies. Personally, I didn’t have any real experience of what, for instance, the legal framework conditions consist of. Therefore, I saw the seminar as a good opportunity to make a first step into the subject area.

What significance does the operation of technologies take in your everyday life as an academic?

We work with a relatively practical orientation, so the application of our technologies is a continuing theme. Nonetheless, our primary goal is publication rather than commercial operation. But, of course, we do develop a feeling for which technologies have potential for further operation when talking to users, for example during BMBF projects.

Had you already dealt with the topic of founding before?

Yes. And at that time, I found the offered seminar through the informational web pages for KIT regarding startups.

Would a KIT spin-off be an option for you?

Definitely. I am thrilled by the support that KIT offers in all kinds of forms for potential founders. The founder scene here is very active and so far it is fun to get a taste of it.

What were you able to draw from the course?

Since I hadn’t really dealt with the subject area before, I was especially interested in the information regarding the foundations of patent rights. Additionally, it became very clear to me how important patents are for KIT and how much support there truly is from KIT in all matters regarding commercial operation.

Would you recommend the course to colleagues?

Of course. I think that anyone dealing with new technology, which is basically all of us here, can profit from having a basic understanding of the framework conditions for commercial operation.