Scientific research can materialise in different ways, including the following examples which can be found at UMONS:
A doctoral thesis is an in-depth work created by a young researcher in a specialist research field. It makes it possible to train as a researcher and acquire a new qualification. Doctoral schools set up by F.R.S.-FNRS (the National Fund for Scientific Research) provide additional training. A doctorand brings new knowledge and skills to the team he joins. UMONS currently has several hundred doctorands in its different fields of research.
Researchers contribute actively to the development of scientific knowledge. Publishing their works allows them to validate and share their advances with the entire scientific community. It is imperative, however, in certain cases to protect the intellectual property of the content prior to publication. The number of publications represents an interesting indicator of the dynamism of research teams. In a number of scientific fields, an impact factor is associated with journals. The impact factor is a measure of the importance of a scientific journal. It is calculated annually by the Institute for Scientific Information for each journal tracked.
A patent is an industrial/intellectual property title which confers on its proprietor an exclusive right of use of the patented invention. An invention is only patentable if it fulfils the following three conditions:
a) it is susceptible of industrial application; b) it is novel (in particular, any prior disclosure made by the inventor destroys novelty);c) the inventive step is manifest (for a person skilled in the art with which the invention is associated, it is not obvious having regard to the state of the art).
With regard to development, new technologies emerging from university research are patented and then licensed to businesses for a specific application of the invention. These are either existing businesses or businesses specially created to use the results.
When a business is specially created to use the results of university research, the company is called a spin-off. It is linked to the university by a licence agreement. The university may also have a stake in its share capital. UMONS is a partner of the IMBC Spinnova innovative projects investment fund, created in 2004. UMONS currently has 6 spin-offs.
A start-up is a young, innovative and dynamic rapid-growth business. It is less closely linked to the university than a spin-off: it would have been created even without any transfer of intellectual property by the university. It runs projects with the university, and can have licence or collaboration agreements or possibly be hosted there. Around twenty start-ups are associated with UMONS.