Austrian university


Roadmapping Innovation, Technology Competence Leveraging (TCL)

Increasing the societal impact of academic research

What could academics do early on in order to succeed later in technology transfer? Where would their research outcome be most urgently needed?


Currently, outcomes of academic research are very rarely transferred into concrete innovations. Even the results of resource-intensive research projects get lost, because the reflection on potential applications in society and markets happens too late or not at all.

Our client, a well-known university department for informatics and communication technologies, wanted to make a difference. In order to increase the likelihood of concrete impact of their technology (e.g. by setting up spin-offs), they decided to find direction of their ongoing research projects in a very early stage (technology readiness level 2-5). Research topics were (1) a network for transferring data, based on ultra-broadband technology, and (2) a complex drone transport network. Core of the challenge for winnovation was to find possible areas of application for research results, and to identify current and future needs in the market, to be able to focus the research work and commercialization according to the users’ needs.

Solution by winnovation

  • Applying the Technology Competence Leverage (TCL) method, several areas of application were identified, in which a new solution based on the research outcome could add real value. Several hundred expert and user interviews were conducted in the course of the project.
  • Using the TCL-method means to abstract research activities from their original contextual embedding and translate them into user needs. Only with such “raw data” the search for potential application areas and markets is possible.


winnovation was able to present the client five concrete application areas per research topic, including contacts to potential industry partners. This allowed our client in academic research not only to re-direct research projects accordingly, but even to prepare the concrete set-up of university spin-offs in order to commercialize the new technologies in the market.