ProTon Europe Annual Conference 2011 “The role of networks in knowledge transfer from public research organizations”

4 Novembre 2021


28-30th September 2011

ProTon Europe is the pan-European association of national Knowledge Transfer associations linked to universities and public research organisations. The association was created in 2003 by the European Commission and is self-supporting since 2007. ProTon Europe’s primary objective is to promote the economic and social benefits of publicly funded research and development throughout Europe by further developing the skills of the professionals working in this field. With over 160 members of knowledge transfer organisations ProTon Europe reaches out to almost 600 universities and public research organisations across Europe.
For more information visit or contact José Syne, Secretary General at


Netval, the Italian Network for the Valorisation of University Research (, was founded in November 2002 as a university network, in order to cope with a set of critical issues such as the reduction of public funding for research activities, the promotion of patenting as a tool for the protection of research results and several changes in the Italian regulations regarding patent ownership. In September 2007 it was transformed into an association. It now consists of 49 members, 47 of which are universities. Universities which joined Netval account today for 71.3% of Italian university students and 73.9% of professors. Interestingly, Netval gathers 76.3% of the Italian teaching staff working in scientific and technology (S&T) related fields, 78% of the total number of public research spin-offs (n=873) and 88.3% of the total number of university spin-offs (n=771) which have been reported so far within the Italian borders; it also accounts for 94.9% of active patents owned by Italian universities.
Among Netval members there are also two PROs: the Italian National Research Council (Consiglio Nazionale delle Ricerche – CNR) and the Italian National Agency for New Technologies, Energy and Sustainable Economic Development (Agenzia nazionale per le nuove tecnologie, l’energia e lo sviluppo economico sostenibile – ENEA).
Netval’s activities include: (i) training sessions for TT-related university professional profiles; (ii) identification and discussion of fundamental issues for TT development; (iii) interaction with national and foreign Ministries and Agencies; (iv) participation in the European Union ProTon Europe association, as a representative for Italy.


The Italian National Research Council (CNR) is the largest public research institution in Italy, the only one under the Research Ministry performing multidisciplinary activities.
The Mission is to perform research in its own Institutes, to promote innovation and competitiveness of the national industrial system, to promote the internationalization of the national research system, to provide technologies and solutions to emerging public and private needs, to advice Government and other public bodies, and to contribute to the qualification of human resources.


CNR’s Departments are organizational units, structured by macro – areas of technological and scientific research, with the task of planning, coordinating and monitoring research activities in the affiliated institutes, by assuring them the necessary financial resources. Each Department furthermore has its national and international relations, dealing with its macro – area of interest. Every Department sets up its own research strategies and programmes, also in cooperation with other Departments, and follow up their implementation through specific research projects. An Institute affiliated to one Department, performing research in interrelated scientific fields, can participate in other Departments’ projects. Among the 82 going projects, 10 are inter – departmental.
The Department decides, together with its institutes, single project’s scientific lines, identifying the research groups to be entrusted with the relevant research tasks, at the same time providing them with necessary resources. Each group of researchers, in charge of carrying out a single scientific line, thus gives its contribution to the achievement of the Project goals.                                       
The 11 Departments are:
-Life Sciences
-Cultural Heritage
-Materials and Devices
-Cultural Identity
-Earth and Environment
-Molecular Design
-Energy and Transport
-Production Systems
-Information and Communication Technologies


The 108 Institutes, located throughout Italy, grouping together these technical and scientific areas of expertise, have been given the task of proposing programmes and implementing the scheduled activities, coordinated by the departments. The Institutes are not dependent on the Departments but are autonomously responsible for their scientific research and duties. The geographical distribution of the Institutes, and their interdisciplinary and multidisciplinary features, enable them to contribute to the growth of regional innovation systems.

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