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Knowledge Transfer Contract

What is a knowledge transfer project?

It is a contract whereby one or more professionals from the University of the Basque Country (UPV/EHU) agree to provide a service (advisory, research, consultancy, etc.) to an external agent of society, such as a public institution, a company, an association, a homeowner association, one or more individuals, etc.

Who can take part?

Any member of the TRS (Teaching & Research Staff) from the UPV/EHU with a full-time contract who has been allocated time in their ATP (Academic Time Plan) that can be devoted to research/knowledge transfer.

This includes associate, assistant, full and tenured professors, faculty chairs, the university’s interim staff and other members of staff who are employed full-time.

It is also possible for staff from the UPV/EHU to participate jointly with students from educational cooperation programmes, subcontractor companies, freelancers, partners from other universities, etc.

What types of transfer projects exist?

There is a huge range of cases but some of the most common types of projects are as follows:

  • Producing reports and performing assessments, planning and similar.
  • Ad hoc research.
  • Technical or professional advisory services in a specific field (legal, scientific, etc.).
  • Certifications in R&D projects.
  • Expert reports.
  • The development of prototypes, designs or products.
  • Courses and other training events.
  • Organizing events, conferences or similar.

Anything that the external entity requires that can be covered by the skills or knowledge of the UPV/EHU can become a transfer project.

How is a knowledge transfer project carried out?

The professor in charge of the project contacts the external agent interested in acquiring the expertise of the university and agrees the parameters of the service, including the characteristics of the project, the participating team and any funding that will be necessary.

The professor then contacts an administrative agency such as the Euskoiker Foundation and describes the characteristics of the project .The Euskoiker Foundation handles all of the administrative management of the project, it liaises with the external entity and it prepares a quote or service provision agreement, which will have to be accepted by the external entity and signed by all parties.

The Euskoiker Foundation is also responsible for all of the financial management, billing the external entity, collecting those payments and making those funds available for the purposes of the project.

Is there more than one way of arranging the knowledge transfer contracts?

There are two official ways. The Euskoiker Foundation arranges these contracts and expedites the process between the professors from the UPV/EHU and the companies or institutions. It has been doing this work since it was established in 1979 and its sponsors include the UPV/EHU, the three provincial councils and the three chambers of commerce (Bilbao, Gipuzkoa and Álava)

It can also be arranged through the OTRI (Office for the Transfer of Research Findings) of the UPV/EHU.

Both methods are subject to the same regulations and have the same administrative costs.

What is the value proposition of the Euskoiker Foundation?

The Euskoiker Foundation is committed to service excellence and seeks to expedite the procedures associated with these contracts as much as possible, providing advice to the staff of the UPV/EHU and keeping any administrative procedures that they have to complete down to a minimum.The Foundation believes that a researcher’s time is best spent performing the specific duties of their job.  Euskoiker takes care of all administrative procedures.

Flexibility, speed, effectiveness, a friendly service and a desire to resolve problems are our values.

How can the funds from the knowledge transfer project be spent?

Among other things, the project’s funds can be used for:

  • Buying any material (inventoriable or otherwise) that is necessary to carry out the project.
  • Procuring any external service that may be necessary (from companies, freelancers, etc.).
  • Paying travel expenses or allowances to the members of the project.
  • Hiring adjunct staff for that project (employment contract).
  • Paying the professors/staff involved for the work with payments through the university’s payroll.

There is a great deal of flexibility in the provision of the funds for a knowledge transfer project. For example, there are no fixed items as you will find in other research projects (inventoriable, staff, fungibles, etc.).The money from the project can be distributed in the most suitable way to carry out the agreed activity.

This flexibility is limited in the case of subsidies and/or any specific announcement of grants that requires a subsequent explanation of any sums requested or allocated.

Can the project use 100% of the amount billed to the external entity?

The UPV/EHU functions in the same way in all external projects:15% of the amount billed is retained for administrative costs. Remember that in such cases, staff from the UPV/EHU are using part of their working day (the research and administration part) to carry out these activities.

In the case of projects arranged through Euskoiker, that 15% is distributed as follows:

  • 5% is received by the Euskoiker Foundation.
  • 5% is given to the department of the UPV/EHU to which the project's Principal Investigator belongs.
  • 5% is received by the UPV/EHU’s General Services. 

Is there a limit to the amount that can be paid into someone’s wages from a transfer project?

Yes, there are a number of limits.

  • Part-time staff cannot receive additional payments in their wages for this because the time spent on research is not considered to be part of their duties. They can participate in knowledge transfer projects as freelance workers, not as staff of the UPV/EHU and, therefore, they would have to issue the respective invoice for the services rendered.
  • The UPV/EHU has established a set of limits to the amounts that can be paid into wages each year for knowledge transfer projects. The exact amounts are revised each year. Thus, last year, the maximum gross amount that could be received in wages over the course of the year from all agreed projects was €127,127.00.
  • The maximum amount receivable from a contract for a single project is currently €15,713.00.
  • The UPV/EHU will retain 25% of any amount that exceeds this sum.For example, if a professor wishes to be paid €30,000.00, the amount that they will actually receive is 15,173.00 + 0.75 x (30,000.00 - 16,460.00) = €26,428.25.
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