In a modern knowledge driven economy, it becomes more and more important not only to do high level research, but to further identify the most relevant ideas for innovation and technology transfer. With this also smaller economies can use the chances of more digital and intangible innovation and can more effectively transfer the research from their Universities to the business world. Therefore, in many countries worldwide programs for innovation engineering and technology transfer are established to teach the crucial interdisciplinary abilities at the interface between science, innovation, business and intellectual property. An example how such an interdisciplinary training was designed 15 years ago can be seen at the MIPLM at the CEIPI, University of Strasbourg.

To support the training of young students with those relevant skills, the WIPO Academy runs worldwide master programs in many countries. In this article we have a closer look on the program in Innovation Engineering and Technology Transfer (MIETT) at the National School of Sciences and Advanced Technologies of Borj Cedria (ENSTAB) in Carthage at the University in Tunisia. We lead an interview with the head of the program Dr. Amira Kaddour.


IPBA: Dear Dr. Kaddour, you are the head of the MIETT program at the University Carthage. Can you explain us the concept of the program and the qualifications, which the students acquire?

Dr. Amira Kaddour: The Master in Innovation Engineering and Technology Transfer is designed to equip managers in research and development, researchers, and heads of research centers with the necessary skills to effectively capitalize on scientific research and meet the practical requirements of the economic system. It also caters to entrepreneurs in innovative startups, facilitating their professional growth. The program focuses on three key areas, enabling students to acquire both hard and soft skills essential for success in innovation and technology transfer. These skills are highly sought after in today’s dynamic business landscape.

The Master in Innovation Engineering and Technology Transfer offers a comprehensive curriculum structured around three main axes. The first axis focuses on analysis and technology, providing technical modules on mathematical modeling, statistical data analysis, Big Data, IoT, Industry 4.0, and 5.0. Through a three-semester program, students acquire hard skills in modeling and understanding economic trends, enabling them to effectively address challenges related to digital transformation and the green transition. The second axis centers on the management of innovation and technology, with modules in management sciences that develop skills in business analysis of innovative projects and startups. The third axis emphasizes technology transfer, covering intellectual property issues, patent contract drafting, and technical report writing. The program also offers resources from the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), including books, online courses with certification, and offline courses with WIPO experts. Communication and negotiation techniques are also covered to enhance students’ ability to effectively communicate research results and advocate for investment in innovations.


IPBA: What is the relevance of Innovation Engineering and Technology Transfer for Tunisia and what can you recommend other countries, which want to improve their innovation landscape?

AK: Tunisia, as a developing country, possesses significant scientific research potential, evident in indicators such as “Knowledge creation” (ranking 39th globally) and “Scientific and technical articles/GDP” (ranking 12th worldwide). The relevance of Innovation Engineering and Technology Transfer for Tunisia lies in its capacity to stimulate economic growth, drive technological advancements, and enhance competitiveness. Thus equipping students with the requisite skills and knowledge to leverage scientific research and navigate digital and green transformations, this program can support the growth of innovative startups and generate employment opportunities. Other countries seeking to enhance their innovation landscape can take inspiration from Tunisia’s example. They should prioritize investment in education and training programs that bridge the gap between academia and industry, develop expertise in technology transfer and business analysis, and address intellectual property issues as their implication and understanding is continuously increasing in this era of deep transformations. Collaborations with esteemed international organizations like the World Intellectual Property Organization can provide valuable resources and expertise, as such expertise is lacking locally especially when it comes to implementing technology transfer processes and managing such projects.


IPBA: The MIETT is supported by the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), because also intellectual property is a crucial aspect of technology transfer. How did this cooperation materialize and how did it help you to cover the wide area of subjects needed for such an interdisciplinary course?

AK: We have requested the technical assistance of WIPO as it’s the world leading agency in this subject under the United Nations, having its support is very important for the quality of the program and it’s potential development and improvement. The cooperation between the MIETT program and WIPO has been instrumental in covering the wide range of subjects required for an interdisciplinary course. This collaboration materialized through a mutual understanding of the importance of intellectual property in technology transfer in the era of twin transitions with what this kind of transformation can impact IP rights and give birth to new and challenging aspects. WIPO’s expertise and resources in IP rights and regulations have greatly benefited the program. Through WIPO’s support, the MIETT program has been able to integrate in-depth knowledge and best practices in IP into its curriculum. This collaboration has facilitated the comprehensive coverage of topics such as patent drafting, IP management, and contractual agreements. The involvement of WIPO experts in delivering courses and providing offline and online resources enriched the learning experience for students, ensuring they receive up-to-date and relevant insights in the field.


IPBA: A part of the Intellectual Property Management lectures was delivered with the help of the MIPLM method developed at the CEIPI, University of Strasbourg. How could this method support your program and do you think, that also other innovation programs can use this teaching approach?

AK: First of all I would like to thank you again for the quality of the delivered sessions the students enjoyed really the participatory and dynamic approach.

The utilization of the MIPLM method, developed at the CEIPI, University of Strasbourg, has been highly beneficial for the MIETT program. This teaching approach has provided valuable insights and expertise in IP management. The method’s focus on practical application and real-world case studies provided via a content portal enhances the learning experience for students, equipping them with practical skills and knowledge in IP management; and this what we are looking for.

Considering the effectiveness of the MIPLM method in the MIETT program, it is indeed a teaching approach that can be valuable for other innovation programs as well. The method’s emphasis on the practical aspects of IP and its integration of case studies can contribute to a well-rounded understanding of IP management in various contexts. Thus, it enables students to bridge the gap between theory and practice and prepares them for the complexities of IP in the innovation landscape.


About the interviewee:

Dr KADDOUR is an associate professor at the National School of Sciences and Advanced Technologies – Carthage University. Dr KADDOUR is the chair of the professional master degree in Innovation Engineering and technology transfer,  a master degree assisted by the World Intellectual Property Organization – UN. Dr Amira KADDOUR has a PhD in finance and certification in FinTech and inclusion, she is a Principal Researcher for Inclusive and Sustainable Ecosystems – Includovate, president and founder of NGOs and Network in MENA region and Africa. Her research covers sustainability toward inclusion. Dr KADDOUR is editor of books and papers covering digital transformation and green transition.