Technology transfer, also called transfer of technology is the process of transferring & disseminating technology from the places and ingroups of its origination to wider distribution among more people and places. It occurs along various axes: among universities, from universities to businesses, from large businesses to smaller ones, from governments to businesses, across borders, both formally and informally, and both openly and surreptitiously. Often it occurs by concerted effort to share skills, knowledge, technologies, methods of manufacturing, samples of manufacturing, and facilities among governments or universities and other institutions to ensure that scientific and technological developments are accessible to a wider range of users who can then further develop and exploit the technology into new products, processes, applications, materials, or services. It is closely related to and may arguably be considered a subset of knowledge transfer. Horizontal transfer is the movement of technologies from one area to another. At present, transfer of technology is primarily horizontal. Vertical transfer occurs when technologies are moved from applied research centres to research and development departments. Whereas technology transfer can involve the dissemination of highly complex technology from capital-intensive origins to low-capital recipients and can involve aspects of dependency and fragility of systems, it also can involve appropriate technology, not necessarily high-tech or expensive, that is better disseminated, yielding robustness and independence of systems. Technology transfer offices may work on behalf of research institutions, governments and even large multinationals. Where start-ups and spin-outs are the clients, commercial fees are sometimes waived in lieu of an equity stake in the business. As a result of the potential complexity of the technology transfer process, technology transfer organizations are often multidisciplinary, including economists, engineers, lawyers, marketers and scientists. The dynamics of the technology transfer process has attracted attention in its own right, and there are several dedicated societies and journals.
The Steinbeis brand has stood for the successful transfer and sharing of know-how and technology for over 30 years. Steinbeis builds made-to-last bridges between the source of knowledge and the area of application. This is because Steinbeis employees are at home at both ends of the bridge. At Steinbeis, the focus during all projects lies in the tangible benefit for clients or the business partner. Steinbeis operates independently of state backing, always adhering to market rules with all the services it provides. The organizational foundation of our success is based on entrepreneurial transfer processes for which we assume personal responsibility, underpinned by decentralized operations that are coordinated through a centralized framework.
Steinbeis has developed into an international network spanning roughly 1,000 transfer enterprises. This network encompasses 6,000 experts, each contributing to their network with their specialist knowledge and working on individual challenges in interdisciplinary teams to genuinely add value and thus facilitate the success of Steinbeis. Steinbeis offers technology and management competence from a single source across a unique spectrum of fields, making its services available to partners and clients of all sizes in all kinds of areas. In doing so, it acts as a trouble-shooter or service provider in the fields of consulting, research and development, training and continuing professional development.
Vineet Kumar Goyal has over twenty-three years of industry experience. Having a degree in Electrical Engineering and Ex. Masters in International Business from IIFT, he has worked for almost two decades with reputed companies like Rockwell Automation, Crompton Greaves, Prudent Automation, Confederation of Indian Industry and Thermopads. Presently he is the Managing Director and CEO of 2E Knowledge Ventures Pvt. Ltd. and also heading Steinbeis Centre for Technology Transfer India – a Network Centre of Steinbeis GmbH & Co. KG for Technologietransfer, Germany under agreement with 2E Knowledge Ventures. He was also Director of Steinbeis Institute for Advanced Technology Training, Research & Entrepreneurship, Aachen, under Steinbeis University Berlin from 2016-2018. Later Steinbeis Academy for Advanced Technical Training and Entrepreneurship was established in India.
Our editorial team spoke to Vineet Kumar Goyal, the Managing Director and CEO of Steinbeis Centre for Technology Transfer India about his journey, the company, entrepreneurship and much more. Here are the edited excerpts.
Tell us a bit about the company and its services.
- Setting-up Technology / Innovation Centres with Academic / Research Institutions / Industry Associations
- Setting-up State Innovation Networks
- Consulting and Technology Solutions for Waste to Energy Projects
- Consulting for Smart Urban Mobility Technologies / Urban Transport Planning
- Outsourced Services for Design & Engineering of Solar PV Power Plant
- Consulting to access Project Financing from domestic / internationals sources for Renewable Energy and other Clean Technology Projects
Process / Product Technologies – Solar PV, Automotive, Manufacturing, Automation & Robotics, Waste to Energy, Urban Mobility / Transport, Technology & Innovation Management, etc., Process Technology Examples – Plastics and Rubber Processing, Rusting and Painting Solution, Process Automation, Lean Management, etc. Transfer involves Applied Technology Development, Technology Scouting & Transfer, and Technology Evaluation & Expert Reports
Training and Skill Enhancement:
- Enhancing Engineers Employability (E-Cube) – for fresh engineers to gain expertise in key technical and management areas helping them for employment in some of the best Indian and Multinational Companies
- Working Professionals Proficiency Program (WP3) – for working Professionals who want to enhance their skills in the given technical and management areas, or who are looking for a lateral shift in their mid-career to get into new technical areas.
- Technician Training Programs (TTP) – are undertaken by our sister organisation 2E Skills
What inspired you to initiate your career in an entrepreneurial path and establish this firm?
Entrepreneurship, in my view is all about the spirit to Innovate!! I was never comfortable on 9-6 kind of a fixed job and reporting to a senior and working as per his wishes. Although I learnt a lot with all my seniors in various companies I worked for, I always wanted to come out and be on my own. Where I could try new things, where I could work the way I want, where I could experiment, and where I could fly. Finally, in 2009, I decided to quit and start my own company in the area of Technology Consulting, Technology Transfer and Trainings. It all started with a dream, and today, after 10 years it gives me happiness to reach a stage, where we are a well-known organisation in the field of Technology Transfers and Trainings, where we are experimenting with new technologies like Micro Test Beds with Steinbeis Germany – in the area of innovation and Technology Transfer for SMEs, and the German Dual TVET System of Skill Development for young Technicians as well as Engineers. It is an exciting and promising journey ahead, definitely!!!
Who are your clients? How do you work on your long-term relationship with your clients?
Our clients are a large number of students – from 10th Graders to Engineering Graduates on one hand, large number of Companies – mostly SMEs, on the other hand. These students get benefitted in terms of getting industry ready and placements in companies – mostly SME’s. Many of them are earning salaries of 40-50,000 per month with opportunities to work on overseas projects, within 2-3 years of joining as Engineers in Solar Companies. On the other hand, many SME companies have got benefitted in terms of getting ready manpower for deploying in functions like design, manufacturing and projects. Most of these companies remain associated with us in the long run for the obvious mutual advantages. This relationship is being strengthened further with adoption of models like Dual TVET for training.
Many SME companies have also benefitted from the Innovation and Technology Transfer work done by us over past many years. We have transferred various technologies like Hybrid Solar Inverters, Alternative Biomass Fuels, Ultra-Precision Machining Technologies, Automotive Electronics, Water Treatment Technologies, etc. to many companies across the country. We have supported many companies to identify the innovation opportunities and then working with Industry – Institute partnership models to draw an innovation roadmap and then implementing the projects. Surprisingly, the success rates for these projects were more than 50%, which further enhances in our belief to work and promote the German Innovation System.
What are the milestones and awards earned by your company?
We established a Technology Transfer Network of more than 10 Transfer Centres in India involving Professional Academic Institutions, Individual Experts and Industry Associations, where the technology problems from the industry are resolved and / or Technology Transfer is undertaken by academic institutions either individually or utilising the strength of Steinbeis Global network. For example, Steinbeis Solar Research Centre, which has been spun into an independent company now, has supported several Solar Projects in South through providing latest design and engineering. Steinbeis also set-up a centre for Smart Urban Mobility Technologies with NIT Warangal, to support the Smart Cities Project of the Government of India. Steinbeis India was amongst the first organisations in the country training and entrepreneurship models for Solar PV technology, Automation, Robotics, Industry 4.0 and Manufacturing and today it has trained more than 5000 professionals, entrepreneurs and technicians till date, mostly in the market mode without any Government support.
2E Knowledge Ventures is an approved Technician & Entrepreneurs Training Provider by MNRE, under JNNSM, partner of National Institute of Solar Energy – a Centre of excellence set-up by MNRE, Training Partner of Electronics Sector Skill Council of India, Sector Council for Green Jobs, Telangana Academy for Skills and Knowledge, AP State Skills Development Corporation, National Small Industries Corporation, a Centre of Excellence approved by European Energy Centre UK and was also a partner of European Business and Technology Centre – a project of European Commission in India.
One of the unique projects was to establish “Skills on Wheels” – a mobile Solar Training Laboratory, established in partnership with Telangana Academy for Skills and Knowledge, Ministry of IT&C, Government of Telangana. Another project was done under Hyderabad Megacity Project of Government of Germany to enhance energy efficiency of agricultural pump sets and setting-up solar schools to engage society at different levels for technology implementation. These are unique projects to take technology to the masses in rural areas and to provide training and exposure to rural youth. Other noteworthy projects of Steinbeis were technology transfer of Hybrid Solar Inverters, Specialised Grinding Technologies, Automotive Technologies, etc. directly supporting the SME industry in their pursuit for technology. In addition, Steinbeis India supported various Indian SMEs in manufacturing and automotive sector to provide training and exposure in latest Technologies in Germany.
Recently, Steinbeis India was involved in Cross-Border Clean Technologies promotion under an ADB funded project, Training Programs on Innovation Management for SMEs and Intermediary Organisations in a joint project with Steinbeis Germany and GIZ India, Specialised Solar PV Training Programs for DISCOM and State Nodal Agencies Officials, SECI officials, Trainers from Skills Councils – in partnership with RENAC Germany and GIZ India, and setting-up Technology Transfer Centre in Sri Lanka in partnership with GIZ Germany.
One of the latest achievements are Steinbeis India being selected as a partner of CSIR for Commercialisation of the Knowledge Base existing in CSIR (Council for Scientific and Industrial Research), Government of India. Three years back, Steinbeis also signed-up with Department of Heavy Industries, Government of India, as their Technology Partner under Make in India Program, during Hannver Messes in Germany.
What are your forthcoming strategies to grow your firm?
As a result of our continued pursuit for Excellence, Steinbeis Germany supported us to have our own Steinbeis India logo and also to establish a Not for Profit organisation – Steinbeis Foundation India. We propose to bring all our Training Programs under this umbrella from the next financial year. This would also provide us the opportunity to work for many CSR Projects supported by the Industry, where we could develop and implement the training models for which we have been striving for. At the same time, it is important for us to move up the value chain and offer high technology trainings as per the requirements of the market, which are not provided hitherto by our competitors.
For technology transfer, we would move towards adopting newer technologies like Micro Test-Beds, we would also like to engage with more and more companies directly and further strengthen the Triple Helix Model in partnership with organisations like CSIR and the topmost Universities and Engineering Institutions. Apart from working closely with Government organisations like SIDBI and NSIC, we would also like to engage with more and more independent consultants and utilise their services to engage with more and more industry clients. All these works shall be continued to be delivered under the banner of Steinbeis Centre for Technology Transfer India, a unit of 2E Knowledge Ventures Private Limited, under agreement with Steinbeis GmbH 7 Co. KG fur Technologietransfer, Germany.
We have also established partnership with CleanTuesday Paris, to establish a Not for Profit Organisation, CleanTuesday India, to promote transfer of Clean Technologies and related financing in the Indian market. We are also planning to enter businesses in entirely new domain of Electronics, where we are at a very nascent stage of planning and early implementation.
What advice can you give entrepreneurs who want to venture into the same domain in the future?
Technology Intermediation is a new field in India and there is a big scope for entrepreneurs who are having passion to enter this field. As already pointed out, Indian Companies do not have a good position in the Global Innovation Index. On the other hand, we have one of the best R&D Infrastructure across the globe. We need more and more passionate entrepreneurs, who shall work in between Institutes and Industry to affect hand-shakes and then manage projects. Countries like Korea are already supporting such initiatives in a big way. Steinbeis India also supports Entrepreneurs who would like to enter into the area of Technology Intermediation.
Similarly, the area of Technical and Vocational Trainings, the Entrepreneurs should not look at these enterprises to earn big money in short time. You should choose your area of specialisation and then try to become an Institute of Excellence and be known for the same. Don’t just do a training or get carried away by a Government Scheme. Government schemes should be used in the short-term to support your Institution and to help it grow faster. In the long-run, it would be your own potential that you should be able to sell in the market.
I remember, never fear from taking risks. Also, no product or service is permanent. It would have its own life-cycle. You would have to keep doing innovations and /or adding new products or services to live in the long run.