ERCIM News No.24 - January 1996 - SICS

The Role of Swedish IT-Institutes in the Spin-Off and Technology Transfer Areas

by Lars Bergman

SICS, Swedish Institute for Computer Science is aiming at broadening its regional base. Establishing the IT-Link AB in Gothenburg is a step in this direction. Other regional cooperations with universities and institutes are being established. The objective for the IT Link activity is to establish a channel for technology transfer locally primarily aiming for SME:s. This complements SICS activities in the Stockholm area where SICS is cooperating with a group of SMEs for technology transfer by means of training, advice, and to some extent product development on a cooperative basis.

IT Link company is started as a joint activity by SICS and SISU, Swedish Institue for Systems Develpment and GI, Institute for Graphical Industry and CTH, Chalmer Technical University Industrial Technology. All taking an interest in the task of technology transfer to local SME:s. A close cooperation with local authorities and companies and their organisations has been a primary requisite for the establisment of IT Link. The intentions for SICS involvement is to focus on new communication services enabling distance work, even such services based on advanced applications. Encouraging SME:s in using and applying IT is also an important intention. The company is to function as a competence and cooperation center.

The work in IT-Link is entirely made on a project basis. The first being the retraining of a group of unemployed academics to the capacity of IT-developers with focus on SME development situations. As part of their training program the participants work on carefully selected development projects in cooperating SME:s. After training the participants are to find jobs in continuing started projects, working in the related SME:s or in similar companies.The IT Link partners are contributing expertise and training activities to the training project.

Establishing spin-offs has not been an intentional primary aim for SICS, nor for SISU. But a couple of years ago the institutes cooperated on supporting two employees in developing a software product and to getting started. This way Björn Lundahl of SICS and Jesper Lundh of SISU got on starting their company Xanthus AB. Recently a group of four SISU employees started CNET AB to commercialise the INTUITIVE Esprit project where SISU has been engaged for three years. This is described in the following article.

Please contact:
Lars Bergman - SISU
Tel: +46 8 752 1600

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