Shiva Loccisano has been involved in technology transfer since 2007, a period that, he says, has seen a steep growth trajectory in commercialisation activities in Italy.

He joins us to discuss the more than 15 years he spent at Politecnico di Torino as the head of technology transfer and industrial liaison department (a position he left last week, after this podcast was recorded, for a new job as chief executive of BeHold, the holding company of Alma Mater Studiorum Università di Bologna).

At Politecnico di Torino, he created the groundbreaking Challenge@Polito programme which has helped foster an entrepreneurial culture on campus.

Having also been a member of the board of directors of Netval, Italy’s professional association for tech transfer specialists, since 2016, Loccisano is well placed to tell us about the opportunities and challenges across the Italian ecosystem, which has historically suffered from a lack of proof-of-concept funds, a dearth of charities sponsoring research and government inaction but is fast catching up to its European peers.

Loccisano also discusses the proposed abolition of professor’s privilege in Italy, a law that would also ask universities to establish tech transfer offices but that might not be as transformational for researchers engaging with TTOs as it might seem.

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