From Ideas to Impact
The innovation ecosystem offers a wide range of support
Good research ideas turn into a great business in Aalto's incubators and accelerators – two of the five growth companies that raised the most funding in 2020 were spin-outs from the Aalto ecosystem. With the help of Aalto Startup Center and Aalto Innovation Services, the community provides a wide range of support services for researchers interested in exploring the commercial potential of their results.
A strong patent is a clear signal of the research idea's business potential and the existence of the problem that the research team in question is set to solve. Patenting is an integral part of the process in which research ideas end up being beneficial to the wider society.
From an Innovation Project to a Startup Company
Aalto University's infrastructure provides support for researchers throughout the commercialization process.
The first step in the process is an announcement of invention, in which innovation experts review the novelty value of the discovery. This is typically followed by a multi-stage patenting process, and often the patent is also protected in several different countries depending on the commercialization path of the invention. During the patenting process, the aim is to strengthen and sharpen the utilization path of the invention together with researchers.
This is usually done in Business Finland's Research to Business program, supported by the university's innovation services. This pre-commercialization project further strengthens the technology, creates more patents, and seeks the best commercialization path for the invention.
When the concept is ready to be transferred forward for use by either a startup or an existing company, a technology transfer is made. Researchers can be involved in a startup that can then apply for the Aalto Startup Center's accelerator program. The program strengthens the company's commercial conditions and creates valuable networks and contacts with investors.
Projects need different support services at different stages of the process: innovation services, business relations services, financial services, legal services, as well as the commitment of researchers through the process to take the research result to practical implementation. From Ideas to Impact supports the researcher from start to finish.
Advancing entrepreneurship and innovations
Behind Aalto's entrepreneurship and innovation ecosystem are both student-led entrepreneurial activities and the university's own research and innovation hubs.