Karen Laigaard joined the University of Copenhagen in March 2003 to set up and manage the university’s Technology Transfer Office. The University has six faculties, 5,500 researchers, 40,000 students and a turnover of €1 billion.
The TTO is made up of 13 tech transfer professionals responsible for the identification, protection and commercialisation of research results produced by the academic community. The office also negotiates all IP-related research agreements between the university and external partners and handles around 70 invention disclosures per year. It entered 23 license agreements in 2015, created five spin-outs, and negotiated 800+ research agreements.
The office manages “Copenhagen Spin-outs”, a collaboration between three TTOs and central stakeholders who work together to create more biotech spin-outs from academia. The same group recently launched “Copenhagen CEOs”, a project aimed at helping researchers to spin-out their companies and preparing them for the task ahead.