Technology transfer

Technology Transfer is the Proambiente corporate mission. Projects and inner reserch activity of the consortium aim to implement technologies for a future industrialization.

To understand what Technology Transfer means, we need to introduce the term Technology Readiness Level (acronym TRL, as defined by NASA in 1974), which represents the Technological Maturity Level of a product/device/system. It is based on a scale of values ​​from 1 to 9, where 1 is the lowest (definition of the basic principles) and 9 the highest (system already used in the operating environment). The following table shows the definition of TRL as it is now widely used by the European Commission.

 

Technology Readiness Levels della Commissione Europea
Livello di TRLDescrizione
TRL 1. basic principles observed
TRL 2. technology concept formulated
TRL 3. experimental proof of concept
TRL 4. technology validated in lab
TRL 5. technology validated in relevant environment (industrially relevant environment in the case of key enabling technologies)
TRL 6. technology demonstrated in relevant environment (industrially relevant environment in the case of key enabling technologies)
TRL 7. system prototype demonstration in operational environment
TRL 8. system complete and qualified
TRL 9. actual system proven in operational environment 
The range between TRL1 and TRL3 corresponds to the fundamental research and demonstration of new concepts that typically deals with the competences and aims of our public partners (CNR and University of Ferrara), The target of Proambiente activities is placed in the range from TRL4 to TRL 7 (prototype demonstrated in the operating environment), together with business services. Increasing TRLs represent the progressive steps needed to realize a complete technology transfer towards the industrial world (both partners of the Consortium or not), to which the last two goals of the scale (TRL8 and TRL9) compete.
The result is expressed through the creation of PRODUCTS and SERVICES for environmental monitoring and remediation listed in the relevant sections of the site.
 
The first successful example of Technology Transfer: “MINI-GC” becomes “PyxisGC BTEX”, produced by Pollution s.r.l.
 
Initially conceived and developed at CNR-IMM Institute (Bologna Headquarter, 2001), and subsequently implemented through a collaboration with Proambiente Consortium, the advanced prototype MINI-GC is a miniaturized Gas-Chromatographic (GC) device capable to detect the presence of benzene in ambient air, even at extremely low concentrations (sub-ppb).
In 2017, the private company Pollution Analytical Equipment (located in Budrio (BO)), skilled in the development and distribution of air quality analytical systems, showed a great interest in this innovative small-sized device and worked on its final optimization in order to introduce the product on the market within 8-12 months. This is how PyxisGC BTEX was born, a commercially available miniaturized GC system for the detection of specific aromatic compounds (Benzene, Toluene, Ethyl-Benzene e Xylenes) in air. It represents the first successful case of Technology Transfer, operated by Proambiente Consortium, from a Public Institution (CNR) to a Private Company.
“The fabrication and the introduction on the market of this innovative product” – says Sandro Fuzzi, President of Proambiente Consortium – “firstly shows the great impact of Public Research in the innovation and competitiveness of private companies, and in second instance the need for a deeper cooperation between Public institutions and Private Enterprises. The High Technology Network of the Emilia Romagna Region is therefore actively involved in the promotion of such collaboration”.
Website of the commercially available PyxisGC BTEX system:
https://www.pollution.it/it/prodotto/ambiente-sicurezza/pyxisgc-btex/HYPERLINK "https://www.pollution.it/it/prodotto/ambiente-sicurezza/pyxisgc-btex/ "