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Turning researchers into entrepreneurs

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Publié le jeudi 19 décembre 2019

Jacek Plucinski left his native Poland two years ago and joined SnT as a Technology Transfer Officer in 2018. He wanted to keep developing a career he kicked off over 10 years ago working in technology transfer in the ICT sector. Today, he works with researchers and helps them with patenting, licensing, creating spin-offs and entrepreneurial projects.

What do you like most about your job?

What’s fun about my job is that it’s at the intersection of science and business. I get to interact with both researchers and business people, introduce them to one another, encourage collaborative research, and ultimately help create an impact in industry. We just recently launched an acceleration programme at SnT where we foster entrepreneurship and educate researchers about things like IP valorisation and management. The fact that I can co-create this kind of initiative with my colleagues is a tremendous perk of working here!


What qualities or skills do you need to work in technology transfer?

There’s no cookie-cutter profile: people working in technology transfer are usually multi-faceted individuals with a broad toolbox. They need to understand technology and quickly grasp the topic at hand. You don’t need in-depth tech skills, like coding, but you need to understand what the value of the code is to the real-world. Speaking of, a solid understanding of market dynamics and trends comes in handy, as does being able to identify business opportunities.

Interpersonal skills also play a big factor: you need to bring a certain level of cultural awareness as you’ll be translating between researchers from all backgrounds and the business world.


What’s so special about working at SnT?

Its impressive research quality! That’s something you notice when you work here: talented people working in a creative state of mind to find solutions to current challenges in ICT, or people super focused on inventing the next big technology. This research excellence is also recognised by the industry in many collaborative research projects, which leads to the other great thing about SnT: the close collaboration with industry.


What was your most remarkable moment at SnT?

My first Partnership Day was definitely a highlight! Seeing all the cool technology we have at SnT in one place, meeting diverse business partners, and then seeing it all come together – it really is a unique event. I think the cherry on top was to have the Luxembourg royals attend Partnership Day 2018 with us!


Do you have any advice for current researchers who are curious about entrepreneurship?

Yes: Don’t be shy about your ideas! Whatever you have, whatever you think you can bring to the table to make an impact, visit your technology transfer office – they’ll be able to help you out.

There are many opportunities to transform your research accomplishments into licenses, products, or entire businesses. At SnT, I always tell researchers to come see me, even if the idea sounds crazy. Let’s brainstorm first and decide on crazy later.