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Free University of Bozen-Bolzano

Knowledge and Technology Transfer

unibz is a partner for research and innovation. We work in close collaboration with local businesses. One of our most important missions is to initiate, develop, foster and support collaborative projects with public institutions and local, national and international companies.


In addition to research and teaching, technology and knowledge transfer is the third pillar of the university. Direct collaboration between institutions in science, business and society fosters the development of new technologies, products and services, and such joint projects ensure the practical relevance of research and education. This Third Mission includes activities of public engagement, the engagement of culture and Lifelong Learning, as well as the commercial exploitation of intellectual property rights or spin-offs.

Knowledge transfer, which is one of the university's missions, adds value to companies and society. Each university sets its own priorities in the Third Mission, based on its research priorities, territorial roots and history. unibz understands its Third Mission as a continuous dialogue with the local region and community, through a series of initiatives and teaching programs for the transfer of culture and innovation.

These include the Studium Generale, the initiatives for Lifelong learning such as Junior Uni, Senior Students, short Master degrees, the Professional Training Course and Placement as a training course for students and workers towards obtaining a teaching qualification or the unitedbz project, a project for asylum seekers and refugees as extra-curricular students.

Communication with businesses is established through the transfer and commercial exploitation of scientific research outputs to companies. This technology transfer is to ensure that scientific and technological developments are accessible to third parties, who can then further develop and exploit the technology.


Partner and Patents

Partner for Research and Development

unibz is a partner for research and innovation by working in close collaboration with local businesses. One of the most important missions is to initiate, develop, foster and support collaborative projects.

The goal is to continue to establish unibz as a research partner for industry and to transfer research outputs to society in the best possible way. Above all, companies can benefit directly from the university.

An example of this collaboration is the World Manufacturing Foundation of which the University of Bolzano is one of the institutional partners.  Based on the collaboration between industry, universities and policy makers, the WMF Foundation brings together several international partners whose main purpose is to spread knowledge, promote innovation and encourage cooperation to develop the culture of a competitive and sustainable manufacturing sector, as well as new business opportunities. The collaboration between the partners is developed through the drafting of documents, the dialogue between experts and the exchange of experiences and innovative good practices to provide strategic insights to the manufacturing sector.

The most prestigious annual event is the World Manufacturing Forum where experts, industry leaders, university professors and innovators meet to discuss the challenges and trends of the international manufacturing industry.

Patents and Intellectual Property Rights

Inventions and patents show the innovative power of a university as well as its competence in different fields of technology. unibz regards the management of intellectual property as a strategic element for the protection of its inventive heritage and the knowledge transfer to promote innovation and progress in society.

unibz supports its researchers in patent application procedures and in the management of intellectual property rights for the commercial exploitation of their research outputs. 

Start-ups and Spin-offs

unibz promotes the development of new, highly innovative companies that emerge from the university's research and human resources. In cooperation with the external Business Incubator at NOI Techpark, unibz provides information and support for the establishment of start-ups and spin-offs with strong links to university research.

Recently, unibz has launched new spin-offs.



unibz operates as a research partner at NOI Techpark and in our various laboratories.

NOI Techpark

At NOI Techpark unibz has set up a series of laboratories for business-related research carried out in the fields of agricultural mechanics, energy-efficient construction, renewable energies, food technology, sensor technology, automation technology, fluid mechanics, computer science and design. In Economics and Management, the focus lies on entrepreneurship and family businesses.

Mini Smart Factory

The Smart Mini Factory Lab at unibz is based on the three pillars of research, teaching and industry and is used for research in the field of industrial engineering and automation. The laboratory serves companies from industry and the craft industry as a contact point for collaborating on research and supports them in the implementation of Industry 4.0. The Smart Mini Factory can also be considered as a learning factory and laboratory with a practice-oriented range of seminars with the aim of creating a platform where researchers, students and industry meet to facilitate the transfer of knowledge from research to industry.

Fab Lab

Bitz unibz fablab is the digital production laboratory of the Free University of Bozen-Bolzano, opened in March 2018. BITZ is open to a wide variety of users as a place for cooperative project work: the city, unibz students, schoolchildren, private individuals, inventors, entrepreneurs, freelancers, artists, craftsmen and, of course, the makers. In the BITZ, models and prototypes can be produced and, thanks to new production technologies, material objects can be created directly from digital information.”

Smart Data Factory

The mission of the Smart Data Factory is to promote the technology transfer from academia to industry by implementing and adapting research results of the Faculty of Engineering of the Free University of Bozen-Bolzano. This occurs through the transfer of advanced skills present in the Faculty of Engineering, for the solution of complex problems in the areas of intelligent data management and in the co-design and co-development of IT applications that focus on the intelligent use of data. In the long term, we expect that the Smart Data Factory increases the innovation potential and competitiveness of the region in the IC&T archive as well as the emerging "data science" through the creation of communities with diversified and innovative experiences at national and international level.

Our Services

Our services

The organization of events serves as a platform and network for active companies who are interested in research, as well as researchers and professors at the university. They offer the opportunity to work closely with the university on specific topics and to discuss new strategies.

We organize meetings and events to get in touch with the companies and provide information on the handling of Intellectual Property Rights in joint research projects with companies.



unibz is a member of Netval, the Italian network for technology transfer within 57 universities and 6 not academic research institutions of the public sector and is in contact with other technology transfer offices in Italy and abroad. unibz is also member of ASTP-Proton, Knowledge Transfer Europe, the leading knowledge transfer association.

unibz launched “Planet Science” in December 2015 in collaboration with Südstern, the network of South Tyroleans overseas, to promote interaction and networking of South Tyrolean scientists abroad with teaching staff and researchers at unibz. This was in order strengthen South Tyrol’s presence as a region of science. In collaboration with the Studium Generale program, Planet Science also offers guest lectures by South Tyrolean scientists abroad, which are accessible to a broad audience.

The Quality and Strategy Development staff unit and the Career Service at unibz are in constant contact with institutions and companies and organize projects, events and seminars on specific and interdisciplinary topics.