Industry-Sponsored Research Week
Industry-Sponsored Research Management

Special Report: The Tech Transfer-Economic Development Connection


By David Schwartz
Published: August 8th, 2017

The Tech Transfer-Economic Development Connection: Strategies for Creating Jobs and Economic Growth through University Innovation is now available from 2Market Information Inc., the parent company of Industry-Sponsored Research Management.

This 45-page resource is chock-full of creative strategies for bolstering your university’s economic development engine. You’ll discover proven success strategies for integrating and partnering with local and regional economic agencies, plus learn how to measure and demonstrate the economic impact of your innovation efforts. The new report is packed with in-depth strategies and case studies designed to help you bolster the economic impact of research commercialization efforts and promote your results to key stakeholders.

For complete details or to order for just $99, CLICK HERE >>

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University of Lincoln hailed for industry engagement efforts


By David Schwartz
Published: August 8th, 2017

The University of Lincoln (UK) has won a national commendation for its level of engagement with industry and other outside organizations. continue reading »

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Aarhus University goes patent-free in bid to open up industry collaborations


By David Schwartz
Published: August 1st, 2017

Along with a number of leading Danish companies, Aarhus University has opted not to patent its research and instead will make it freely available on a new Open Science platform. The Danish Industry Foundation is providing DKK 2.5 million to get the new platform started.

According to Aarhus research leaders, the Open Science platform removes common barriers – often IP-related — that make it difficult and expensive for companies to gain access to relevant basic university research. The move is designed to turn back the trend toward focusing research only on relatively “safe bets” with clear applications, which has caused a decline in more speculative but potentially important basic research.   

The platform combines basic research with industrial innovation in a completely new way, with university researchers and companies collaborating to create fundamental new knowledge that is constantly made available to everyone — and which nobody may patent. On the contrary, scientists and corporations are freely able to use the shared knowledge to develop and patent their own unique products.

Dean Niels Chr. Nielsen of Aarhus University sees the Open Science platform as a response to several major challenges facing the research universities and businesses that rely on research for innovation.

“Public and private institutions and foundations protect their research investments by focusing on safe bets. Either by favoring applied research with a high probability of commercial success, or by ensuring that our research centers keep to clearly defined benchmarks that control the flow of funds and time — but do not allow room to explore unexpected opportunities that arise during the process,” he says.

“The paradox seems to be that we don’t like investing in unorthodox or complex ideas because of the high risk that they won’t eventuate. At the same time, however, society can’t afford to turn our universities into factories that are occupied with small and self-evident ideas,” Nielsen adds.

The idea is catching on among companies that otherwise use considerable resources on protecting their intellectual property rights. The first Open Science platform, focused on smart materials, has 20 corporate participants. All universities in Denmark have also joined in.

“Open Science will be a playground where companies and universities can try out their ideas without taking major risks. They can venture out of their normal surroundings and try new things relatively risk-free. This is particularly interesting for SMEs (small and medium sized enterprises), only a few of which are experienced in research-based development. And because participants in the Open Science platform have access to the latest university research, they can acquire a basis for creating unique products with increased market potential,” says Professor Kim Daasbjerg of iNANO, who led development of the platform.

 “Other research environments are completely free to imitate us and to copy and paste our model. We hope this will happen. At the rate the project has spread until now, I predict that Open Science can have the same impact on the scientific ecosystem associated with basic research that Internet streaming has had on the music and film industry,” Daasbjerg asserts.

Source: Science and Technology

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Opportunities and Pitfalls in Joint Development and Patent Licensing under the AIA


By David Schwartz
Published: August 1st, 2017

The America Invents Act created new benefits — but also some unexpected traps — in the patent laws surrounding university-industry collaborations. One key change involves carve-outs for “prior art” that would otherwise invalidate a patent. For example, the work of a “joint inventor” will be disregarded as prior art in certain circumstances. Likewise, an earlier-filed application does not count as prior art against a later-filed application if both applications were commonly owned (e.g., through a joint venture or partnership) at the time the second application was filed. This same prior-art avoidance can be achieved by entering into a “joint research agreement” without formally assigning ownership of the patent.

On the other hand, applicants must be aware of some traps in the law that can jeopardize the validity of patents. Filing an application in the name of the owner (as opposed to the inventor) may forfeit priority rights to a provisional application. Also, the Patent Office and the courts disagree whether a secret offer to sell the invention will be treated as prior art against the patent.

There’s much to consider, and Tech Transfer Central’s Distance Learning Division has scheduled a practical webinar will clarify the risks and benefits facing universities and their industry partners seeking to license jointly developed innovations. Join us on August 3rd for Opportunities and Pitfalls in Joint Development and Patent Licensing under the AIA. For complete program and faculty details, CLICK HERE.

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Philips, Pitt collaboration features internships, open innovation


By David Schwartz
Published: August 1st, 2017

A new multi-pronged research collaboration between the University of Pittsburgh and Philips, a Dutch electronics and healthcare company with operations in the area, includes more than one avenue to research sponsorship, as well as multiple commercialization opportunities plus student training and recruiting. Indeed, the student focus is a major component of the expanding relationship between the two. continue reading »

If you’re charged with expanding and managing corporate partnerships for your university, Industry-Sponsored Research Management is for you! For complete details, a free sample issue, and a special discount offer, CLICK HERE!

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After Wisconsin lands Foxconn factory, UW-Madison looks to forge research partnerships


By David Schwartz
Published: August 1st, 2017

Wisconsin recently won a hard-fought effort to bring electronics giant Foxconn to the state – in part by stressing its universities’ medical and engineering prowess – and now UW-Madison is fighting just as hard to translate the company’s new facility into research partnerships that could pour new funding into the school. continue reading »

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2017 edition of Survey of Sponsored Research Agreements between the Private Sector and Higher Education released


By David Schwartz
Published: August 1st, 2017

The new 2017 edition of the Survey of Sponsored Research Agreements between the Private Sector and Higher Education is now available and includes 150 pages of key data and trends based on extensive survey results from major research universities and their agreements with private sector entities.

This one-of-a-kind resource provides a rich set of benchmarks and data to compare against your own sponsored research activity. It’s jam-packed with over 180 easy-to-scan charts and figures displaying critical data you can’t find in any other publication. The just-released report provides an in-depth look into key data so you can compare your practices and see how you stack up against other organizations — and use the data to point you to areas for improvement.
For complete details, CLICK HERE >>

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Microsoft expands quantum computing partnership with University of Sydney


By David Schwartz
Published: August 1st, 2017

The University of Sydney (USyd) has signed a multi-year quantum computing partnership with Microsoft, officially launching the university’s Quantum Nanoscience Laboratory, called Station Q Sydney, to seal the agreement. continue reading »

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U of Dayton Research Institute in nanotech production deal with N12 Technologies


By David Schwartz
Published: August 1st, 2017

The University of Dayton Research Institute (UDRI) is partnering with N12 Technologies, Inc., a leading nanotechnology provider for strengthening composites. The institute will offer high production capacity for N12’s flagship NanoStitch® interlaminar reinforcement product, using UDRI’s carbon nanotube (CNT) production technology. continue reading »

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UGA’s strategies bring progress in goal to boost industry sponsorships


By David Schwartz
Published: July 25th, 2017

Industry-sponsored research expenditures were historically 3% or less of total sponsored research dollars at the University of Georgia, but a few years into a renewed emphasis on connecting inventors to sponsors — as one means of moving technologies to market faster — the school’s corporate research sponsorship is on track to come in at well over 5% for fiscal year 2017, which closed June 30.

“Research expenditures supported by grants and contracts are the primary metric as far as we are concerned,” comments David Lee, PhD, UGA’s vice president for research and professor in the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology. “And yes, we have observed progress using this metric.” While he adds that he’s “very satisfied with the progress we are making,” he does note that he’d like to see that number go even higher. “I don’t have a specific number in mind,” he says, “but 10% is an attractive target currently.”

To get there, Lee has implemented a number of changes in the way the Office of Research operates. One was the recent creation of the position of Director of Discovery and Innovation Partnerships. The job — “essentially our industry liaison,” Lee comments — is held by industry veteran Crystal S. Leach, PhD. She “came from a career in industry R&D,” he adds — primarily at Kimberly-Clark – “where she often worked in open innovation with university partners.” That experience, he says, “gives her credibility on both sides of the equation: with our faculty researchers and with potential and existing industry partners.” The position is half funded by UGA’s College of Engineering “to meet their needs,” Lee comments, with the other half provided by his office “in exchange for meeting the needs of other units around campus.”

Lee adds: “I believe this solution is working well, though we need more time to be sure. Working with interested faculty, the director’s role is to help cultivate industry partners, particularly in strategic areas.” Of course, UGA is open to industry partnerships in just about any discipline, but, as Lee points out, “the opportunities for industry partnerships are naturally greater with some areas of research, such as engineering, physical and computational sciences, agriculture and disease-oriented biomedicine.”

Another recent change Lee put in place is “deliberately hiring an experienced contracting officer into our Sponsored Projects Administration unit in order to have a dedicated focus on this activity, thus shortening the time to complete contracts.” In the past, he explains, when responsibility for industry contracts was shared among grants officers, finalizing those contracts “competed with other activities, particularly around grant deadlines.” Now, he says, “I am satisfied that we are more efficiently handling industry contracts.”

Part of that, he says, is the Office of Research making a concerted effort not to quibble with industry sponsors over intellectual property. “Our approach is characterized by the recognition that companies may have a deep interest in the IP stemming from partnerships with UGA, and [they] appreciate flexibility on our part,” he comments. “Every circumstance is different, but we work quickly and efficiently to find a mutually agreeable solution, whether that’s a model of shared IP, or one in which IP is owned exclusively by the company or the university.”

A detailed article on UGA’s strategies for expanding its industry-sponsored research activity appears in the July issue of Industry-Sponsored Research Management. To subscribe and get the full article – and receive a discounted annual rate of just $297 (a $100 savings), CLICK HERE.

Subscribe to Industry-Sponsored Research Management and get a FREE distance learning collection: Best Practices in Forming and Managing Industry-University Partnerships, CLICK HERE!

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Salk Institute embroiled in gender discrimination controversy


By David Schwartz
Published: July 25th, 2017

For any research enterprise, controversy is never a good thing — and it can certainly scare away potential industry partners. The storied Salk Institute in La Jolla, CA, is facing a good deal of bad press over accusations of gender discrimination. Three female professors have sued the institute for allegedly giving preference to men in pay, promotions, grant funding, and leadership positions. continue reading »

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Coming Thursday: Critical workshop on Bayh-Dole compliance


By David Schwartz
Published: July 25th, 2017

The compliance requirements of the Bayh-Dole Act have been a fact of life for universities for the past 37 years, and it’s easy to fall into a sense of complacency, assuming that what these well-establish rules are ingrained in the fabric of the institution. But in most cases, that’s a dangerous and most likely inaccurate assumption.

In fact, that is the conclusion of NIH officials, who have expressed increasing concern that many universities are not fully honoring their obligations to report inventions, provide confirmatory licenses, and submit utilization reports. Their alarm bells went off after their internal reviews noted a significant discrepancy between the number of grants awarded versus the number of subject inventions being reported.

Staff turnover, inadequate training, poor record keeping, and simple complacency all contribute to an alarming lack of compliance, and universities are being urged by both NIH and AUTM to redouble their compliance and auditing efforts. That’s why we’ve scheduled the critical webinar workshop, Bayh-Dole Compliance Check-up: Effectively Address the Challenge of Complacency, scheduled for this Thursday, July 27.

For complete details and to register, CLICK HERE.

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