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PODCAST TALK: Anne-Wil Lucas discussed The Sense of Urgency to Valorize Knowledge from Universities

Welcome to TALKS: a spontaneous conversation with an expert on collaboration, innovation, topics we are just curious about. With these talks, we want to share knowledge, best practices, fresh ideas, opinions, or new ways of working together to give inspiration to our followers and members.

Today, we are here in Amsterdam with Anne-Wil Lucas, Program Director of Breakthrough Technologies at StartupDelta, which aims to merge the Dutch start-up ecosystem into one single connected hub. She is a former member of the Dutch parliament and is trying to influence parliament to support valorization and knowledge transfer from universities by changing current policies. She is also directly helping the start-up and academic community to transfer knowledge and benefit society.

We will talk about how to leverage the knowledge from academia and what StartupDelta is doing to bring research to life from university to industry.

PODCAST TALK with Anne-Wil Lucas from StartupDelta
Business of Collaboration Podcast


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In this section, we want to highlight the main lessons learned from our podcast conversations and create a snapshot of these interesting conversations with bright minds through easy key points and categories.


  • We need to push universities to transfer technology and technical knowledge to the business and start-up sectors because the current system makes academics focus mostly on publishing in academic journals. It is necessary to change how the system works and to reward academics who make the time and effort to valorize their knowledge outside of academia.
  • Valorization is a necessary part of the academic process, and universities should be promoting research education and valorization in the same way.
  • It’s important to clarify what businesses’ specific needs are in order for academic researchers to understand their goals before, during, and after collaboration.
  • We need to reward professors who make an impact on society and collaborate with businesses.
  • We need to promote professionalism throughout the valorization process, create grants to bring research to the market, and develop grants that accelerate the timeline for bringing research to the market.
  • We need to create a feedback loop to better understand the best standards and procedures for starting a project, creating a team, and developing the necessary business skills. It’s important that we collect advice about making a business based on research and guidance, not only money.
  • We have to reward academics for valorization.


  • We need to facilitate a strong collaboration between academics and business leaders.
  • Academics must have clear questions and answers on what businesses need and should initiate the research regarding what the businesses need without being asked.
  • Businesses can receive a non-biased answer from the scientific research process. It takes more time to work with scientists and social scientists, but the outcomes are worth it.
  • It’s all about building a relationship with academics and businesses, and this relationship will be continually and consistently rewarding.
  • Now the digital and innovation challenges are so big that corporations need to approach start-ups and academics to help them to innovate and reach their goals.
  • Of course, we need to encourage and ensure meetings between academics and businesses happen in order for them to see the value of talking to each other, for instance in round tables.
  • For instance, one of the current challenges of the energy transition is to reduce CO2 emissions. Start-ups and researchers can make a bridge between the government and established companies via collaboration, which can mean a partnership between a professor and a company can solve the climate agreement. Most start-ups are coming from universities in the energy sector.
  • Being close to businesses and academics can benefit start-ups to bring better products and better services to the market because since the changes are happening faster, we cannot have a gap in service provision or product creation.


  • We need to open the doors and windows of the universities to make research easier to find and professors more available to start a conversation.
  • Universities should pay more attention to what is happening in the outside world.
  • It will help to have all universities and professors in one database (KNOWCO), so business have not to search 30+ different university websites to find someone who can help them.
  • We need to talk to the Ministry to Economic Affairs about how to incentivize the academic system.
  • We will set a system into place, create a sense of urgency to bring research to life, and show good examples of what universities are doing and what is possible through collaboration.

Anne-Wil Lucas
Program Director of Breakthrough Technologies at StartupDelta
Former member of Dutch Parliament