Karen Laigaard joined the University of Copenhagen in March 2003 to set up and manage the university’s Technology Transfer Office. The University has six faculties, 5,500 researchers, 40,000 students and a turnover of €1 billion.
The Tech Transfer Office consists of 13 tech transfer professionals responsible for the identification, the protection and the commercialisation of research results produced by the academic community. The Office also negotiates all IP-related research agreements between the university and external partners. The Office handles around 70 invention disclosures per year, it entered 23 license agreements in 2015, created 5 spin-outs and negotiated +800 research agreements.
The Office manages “Copenhagen Spin-outs”, a collaboration between three TTOs and central stakeholders who work together to create more biotech spin-outs from academia. Recently the same group has launched “Copenhagen CEOs”, a project aimed at helping researchers wishing to spin-out their own companies and preparing them with the task ahead.
From 2007 to 2011 Karen was a board member of ASTP and served as President from 2009 till 2011.