Industry Contact Officers (ICOs)

Industry Contact Officers (ICOs) are defined in the INFRAINNOV-02-2019 call as “research infrastructures staff in charge of developing business relations with all potential industrial suppliers of innovative components or services as well as encouraging the economical use of their facility by private players”.

ICOs, often also referred to as Industrial Liaison Officers or Business Development Offices (BDOs), are responsible for the engagement of industrial users, and also often support technology transfer, valorisation actions and collaboration with industry.

When ICOs encourage industry to collaborate with research infrastructures either to get access or co-develop new technologies, their role overlaps with that of ILOs. Some ICOs/ILOs/BDOs are also responsible for technology transfer, the realisation of technology licences with industry, as well as the preparation of EU- or nationally-supported grants with industrial partners. There is a certain level of diversity in these responsibilities, depending on the management structure of the respective research infrastructure.