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>Elke Piessens

About The Speaker

Elke Piessens

Driven by creating value through innovation and bringing R&D results to the market. After her studies as a civil engineer, she started off in 2001 with a first job at the spin-off LMS International (now Siemens), then moved on as an innovation advisor in a combined job within the networking platform Leuven.Inc (linked to KU Leuven) and the Flemish subsidy organisation VLAIO. Since 2007, she took the opportunity to found and grow a completely new tech transfer office (TTO) at Hasselt University (UHasselt), guiding the process of knowledge transfer from university to the market, to society.

Today, Elke is the director of the TTO of UHasselt, leading an enthusiastic team of almost 20 tech transfer officers and business developers within the UHasselt research groups. She is responsible for setting out the policy and strategy with respect to knowledge transfer at UHasselt, including spin-offs, collaboration agreements with industry, intellectual property, patents and licenses. This job includes the coordination of the Industrial Research Fund at UHasselt (proof-of-concept funding): strategy, implementation and evaluation, projects and mandates. Her team is also in charge of the internal and external marketing and communication on knowledge transfer, and for keeping close interaction with intermediary structures and policy makers.

In 2017, the TTO of UHasselt seized the opportunity to register for the European project PROGRESS-TT, a coaching project for young, high potential TTOs. After 10 years of TTO operation, it was the perfect time to reflect on a few things: focus, capacity, structure and goals. In intensive collaboration with our coach, Tom Flanagan (DIT), we set out a new knowledge transfer strategy for UHasselt. After two years of implementation, we are happy to present today the lessons learned and the first results.

ASTP ANNUAL CONFERENCE, May 21-23 2019, Dublin