One of the main challenges addressed by Polytechnic of Milan, with the establishment of a TTO, was to organize and protect its researchers’ inventions and to exploit them in a country like Italy, which is characterized by lack of adequate policies in the field of technology transfer. In particular, an important distinctive feature of the Italian framework is represented by the professor’s privilege.
Since 2001, when it was established, Polimi TTO has played a leading role in implementing technology transfer policies and strategies in Italy. A key factor of the success of Polimi TTO was the willingness of the Polytechnic of Milan to invest in its intellectual property. At that time, this aspect was not common for Italian universities, in which usually only a small amount of financial resources were allocated to Technology Transfer. The offices only had a few staff members who were not able to organize their resources for an optimum growth. This happened because in most Italian universities intellectual property was not seen as a priority and, consequently, there was a lack of adequate policies. In this context, Polimi TTO was strategically established to address these challenges. Before 2001, there was no technology transfer activity within the Polytechnic. Now, the TTO supports researchers in each phase of the technology transfer process.