Impact Assessment of Innovation Policy

Workshop: "Stimulating knowledge transfer: challenges and policy responses"


6-8 November 2017, Lisbon



Countries are increasing efforts in stimulating knowledge transfer between universities and the private sector, as a way of fostering innovation-driven growth. While there has been much experimentation in the policy approaches used to enhance science-industry linkages, there is little evidence on what policy instruments and combinations (or policy mixes) are most appropriate to enhance knowledge transfer. 

This workshop will be an opportunity to address key questions in this regard. It will gather representatives from academia and policy-making bodies from Portugal and members from the OECD Working Party on Innovation and Technology Policy (TIP) to discuss and exchange perspectives on knowledge transfer policies and impacts in different contexts.


The 2017-18 TIP project on assessing the impacts of knowledge transfer and policy

Objectives of the workshop


This workshop will provide inputs to the OECD Innovation Policy Reviews as well as the TIP project on “Assessing the impacts of knowledge transfer and policy” project by offering insights on: 

  • How the institutional context of higher education institutions affects knowledge transfer
  • How knowledge transfer is best supported in context of non-high tech industries
  • How to capitalise on the international and intersectoral mobility of human capital

The workshop will also serve as an opportunity to discuss how to best explore synergies between the TIP thematic work and the country reviews. Perspectives from the ongoing country review of Portugal will contribute to the discussion.


Monday, 6 November

15h00-17h00: TIP impact assessment steering group discussion

Topics of discussion:

  • Final project Terms of Reference
  • Project case studies and templates
  • Project timeline
  • Initial results

Tuesday, 7 November

9h30 - 10h00: Opening and introductory presentations

  • Presentation of the Portugal Innovation Policy Review: overview of the main characteristics of challenges to stimulating knowledge transfer in Portugal
  • Presentation of TIP project on “Assessing the impacts of knowledge transfer and policy” 
  • Q&A

10h00 - 12h00: Panel 1 - Challenges to the stimulation of technology transfer in Portugal

  • General presentation of the main characteristics of challenges to stimulating investment in science and higher education, together with knowledge transfer in Portugal, based on the ongoing review and latest statistics

12h00 – 13h30 – Lunch

13h30 - 15h00: Panel 2 - Science, innovation and knowledge transfer in a diversified higher education landscape

Questions to be addressed by the panel:

  • How to best organise science and higher education and their relations with industry, in a configuration where research universities (driven toward excellence but under mounting pressure to also produce useful research-based innovation) coexist with universities of applied research (i.e. ‘polytechnics’, expected to engage in practice-based research and professional development, with close relationships with local communities and SMEs, in particular through innovation)?  What division of labour between institutions works best? What are opportunities for synergies?
  • What best practice examples exist in Portugal and abroad?

15h00 - 15h30 – Coffee break

15h30 - 17h00: Panel 3 - International and intersectoral mobility of human resources

Questions to be addressed by the panel:

  • How to attract, retain and support the evolution of the best human resources and young researchers so that they best contribute to the country development? How can this be done in a context of limited public budgets and limited private sector recruitment of highly qualified human resources? 
  • How can trained human resources be used more effectively to support competitive science-based industries? Is creating more opportunities for spin-offs created by PhDs and researchers an option? What about the role of intermediary institutions that serve as conduits of knowledge sharing between industry and science? 

Wednesday, 8 November

9h30 - 10h30: Panel 3 - Knowledge transfer to ‘non high-tech’ industry and services

Questions to be addressed by the panel:

  • How to initiate a virtuous circle between the demand for innovation and the offer of innovative solutions in an environment where most companies have a low absorptive capacity and, even more, no formalised demand for innovation? 
  • What are the necessary conditions and effective public support to trigger such virtuous circle?


10h30 – 11h00 – Coffee break

11h00 - 12h30: Concluding panel


  • Main takeaways from the discussion regarding knowledge transfer
  • Enhancing contributions of TIP peer reviews to country reviews and contributions of country reviews to the TIP project on “Assessing the impacts of knowledge transfer and policy”

Practical information

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