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Capacity Building

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Capacity Building Workshop on Technology
Business Incubator Management

21–23 November 2011
Jakarta, Indonesia

Organized by
Asian and Pacific Centre for Transfer of Technology (APCTT) of the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP)

in cooperation with
Indonesian Institute of Sciences (LIPI), Government of Indonesia

Supported by
Department of Scientific and Industrial Research (DSIR) Ministry of Science and Technology, Government of India Islamic Development Bank, Indonesia Association of Indonesia Business Incubators

Brief Report
Co-organizers
Indonesian Institute of Sciences (LIPI), Government of Indonesia;
National Development Planning Agency, Government of Indonesia;
Association of Indonesia Business Incubators; and
Islamic Development Bank, Jakarta Office, Indonesia.

Background
Technology Business Incubator (TBI) has become an effective technology transfer mechanism in both developed and developing countries. This mechanism is more important in developing countries, as most of the industries still have a low capacity to adopt or utilize new technology in their business and the nature of such technology innovation-based products carries high risk. TBI can reduce such challenges by providing an environment conducive to the development of technology-based enterprises.

Therefore, improved capacity of TBIs will not only increase the number of technology-based enterprises but also help them become an important mechanism to accelerate transfer of technology, especially to the new and young entrepreneurs/firms.

The target group of the workshop included: (a) senior management staff of technology incubators with experience in managing TBIs; (b) senior and middle management staff of technology incubators who are developing or have recently started operation of their TBIs; and (c) decision-makers from organizations that have plans to establish or support the establishment of TBIs, such as Ministry of Science and Technology, Ministry of Education, Ministry of Economy, Higher Education Institutions (Universities, Polytechnics, etc.), R&D Institutes, private companies, and foundations.

Objectives

  • Enhance the capacity of participating management and staff of TBIs from Indonesia and other countries to manage their TBIs more effectively;
  • Share experiences and successful practices the concerning management of TBI to enable the participants to devise better approaches for accelerating the commercialization of technological innovations;
  • Provide an opportunity for key actors and stakeholders of TBIs to network and exchange experiences; and
  • Provide inputs to policy-makers to help them develop policy frameworks for the development of customized TBIs as a part of the national technology innovation strategy.

Major Outputs
The workshop was inaugurated by the Prof. Lukman Hakim, Chairman, Indonesian Institute of Sciences (LIPI), Government of Indonesia. In his inaugural address, Prof. Lukman emphasized that innovation capacity is a key factor in achieving competitiveness in global markets. In this regard, he said, TBIs are an effective mechanism to nurture technology innovation and to provide practical education and training for young techno-entrepreneurs. Suitable policy instruments are required for the setting up of TBIs and technology based enterprises.

Prof. Francois Therin, Dean, School of Business, Curtin University, Sarawak Malaysia, in his keynote address recalled that the concept of TBIs is relatively new and it should not be compared with technology/science parks. It is only more recently the latter are welcoming start-ups and small businesses. He pointed out that science and technology parks help fostering innovation for large companies but are not directly useful in fostering techno-entrepreneurship. Success of TBIs depends on several conjoined factors like existence of entrepreneurship culture, presence of strong providers of research in public or private sector, presence of large technology-intensive companies, clear intellectual property and patenting laws, strong education and higher education system, dedicated network of technology and business service providers, and effective public or/and private financial mechanisms. Prof. Therin further emphasized that TBIs have to be supported from medium to long term in order to measure their success.

The first session was devoted to the introduction of TBI management. At this session, experts presented their views on trends in the development and management of TBIs, TBIs as a key component of a national innovation system and shared experiences of Indonesia in the development and management of TBIs. The resource persons invited by APCTT presented the international best practices in the development and management of TBIs and the role of TBIs in promoting hi-tech clusters in the Republic of Korea. This session also included presentation of case studies of TBIs in Maldives and Malaysia.

During the second session on the economic perspective of TBI development, participants were introduced to the techno-economic considerations for developing and locating TBIs, along with case studies and business model development and key performance indicator development of a TBI. Experiences of management of an agri-business incubator in Bogor, Indonesia, were also shared with the participants. The third session on marketing of TBIs included promotion of TBIs to key stakeholders to ensure sustainable operations and target marketing strategy of TBIs to get the best techno-entrepreneur and enterprises. APCTT-ESCAP-invited expert presented case studies from selected countries on the above subject.

At the fourth session on development and management of TBIs, APCTT-ESCAP-invited expert from the Republic of Korea, discussed the policy instruments required to support the development and governance of TBIs, while the expert from India narrated some key lessons for the effective management of TBIs. At this session, case studies of Pakistan and Bangladesh were also presented. The panel discussion centred on the path ahead in developing and managing TBIs.

See Annex I for the programme and presentations.

Conclusions and Recommendations

  • A medium- to long-term commitment from the government is required for the development and management of TBIs in order to measure their success. In this regard, there has to be a clear government policy that governs the setting up and operations of TBIs with achievable and measurable objectives after considering the prevailing techno-economic and social factors and environment.
  • The management of TBIs itself is an entrepreneurial activity, which requires flexible but accountable rules of governance. The choice of CEO is crucial since he/she is expected to play the role of a project-champion.
  • There has to be a minimum threshold-skill level with the in-house personnel of a TBI, including the ability to understand the needs of incubatees and to find potential solution providers outside the TBI.
  • As it would not be possible to provide in-house services to meet all the technology and business requirements of incubatees, it is important that the managers of TBIs synergize and/or have linkages with various service providers (such as laboratory facilities, engineering, technical and marketing consultants, standards and testing, patent attorneys, etc.).
  • To assist the managers of TBIs, a national agency must initiate steps to map the service providers, periodically update information, and provide access to TBIs through modern information and information technologies.
  • To meet the developmental aspirations and to address the challenges posed by climate change, TBIs need to focus on low-carbon technologies, hi-tech small and medium enterprises, and global commercialization of technologies.


Participants

Eleven national and international resource persons from APCTT, Australia, Hungary, Indonesia and Malaysia shared their knowledge and experiences, while six TBI managers from Bangladesh, Maldives, Malaysia and Pakistan presented their experiences and 37 managers and stakeholders of TBI in Indonesia actively participated in the workshop.

See Annex II for the list of participants.