Like many technology transfer professionals, Thomas Schmidt found his way into the field by accident, after a part-time marketing role turned into a full-time business development position. His passion has been unwavering ever since, and after his 7-year stint at Aarhus University, he moved to the University of Southern Denmark (SDU), where, for the past 8 years, he has been the head of the technology transfer department.
Thomas’s office managed to get through 2020 without any major issues, but there are still some areas where Thomas sees room for improvement, which you will hear about in today’s episode. We also discuss how Denmark’s technology transfer environment differs from other countries across the world, and the work that is being done by Thomas’s small, highly skilled office to build a close-knit entrepreneurial ecosystem, with particular emphasis on the robotics and life sciences industries.
In This Episode:
- [00:53] An introduction to today’s guest, Thomas Schmidt.
- [01:48] Thomas’s unplanned entry into the technology transfer field.
- [02:56] The structure of the technology transfer office at the University of Southern Denmark (SDU), and the projects that they focus on.
- [04:36] How SDU’s unique programs and funding mechanisms are building a more entrepreneurial community in Denmark.
- [07:00] The maturity level of Denmark’s technology transfer environment, and how it compares to other countries.
- [09:26] SDU’s approach to securing venture capital and funding, and how they fared during the pandemic.
- [12:28] Diverse skill sets of Thomas’s team members.
- [14:01] Thomas shares his office’s achievement metrics.
- [16:35] Dedicated incubators that SDU has.
- [17:15] What Thomas sees as the key to success in the technology transfer field.
- [18:57] The philanthropic organization that SDU partners with.
- [21:12] SDU’s diverse technology portfolio, and some of the successful projects that Thomas is most proud of.
- [23:01] Challenges that Thomas and his team are currently facing, and how he hopes these will be resolved in the future.
- [25:19] Denmark’s most prevalent equality issues, and how SDU’s is working to combat this.
- [28:44] ASTP; the technology transfer organization that SDU is involved with.
- [29:58] The value that Thomas sees in credentialing.
- [32:21] Changes that Thomas would like to see happening in Denmark’s technology transfer field in the future.