Knowledge transfer is the third mission of the University, next to Research and Higher Education.
In recent years the University of Florence has developed a number of tools to promote research-based innovation in order to strengthen the relationship between the university's own research facilities and external bodies.
The Vice-rector for Technological Transfer and External Relations is in charge of implementing the University's policies and agenda, together with dedicated committees. The areas of interventions are threefold:
- From students and graduates to business: the Orientation and Job Placement Office has increasingly extended its activities in recent years. The 4th edition of Career Day has seen the participation of over 1000 graduates and almost 90 businesses.
- Innovative start-up companies: the University Incubator (IUF), implemented in 2010, is now in its 8th pre-incubation cycle with 350 active young researchers. To date 24 new ventures are in place. Thanks to this activity, Tuscany is in 2014, the first region in Italy when it comes to the total number of active spin-offs.
- Innovation in the business system: a continuing activity to apply research and internationalisation to businesses in partnership with business associations, Chambers of Commerce, Bank foundations, and government institutions.
The initiatives are coordinated on the University side by CSAVRI (Centro di Servizi di Ateneo per la Valorizzazione della Ricerca e la gestione dell'Incubatore universitario), the service centre dedicated to the enhancement of research and management of the University Incubator.