Industry-Sponsored Research Week

Carnegie Mellon’s Robotics Engineering Center cited for huge economic impact


By David Schwartz
Published: December 14th, 2021

The National Robotics Engineering Center (NREC), an innovative model for academic-industry collaboration founded 25 years ago to catalyze robotics research and commercialization, has has a dramatic impact on the Pittsburgh economy and the broader robotics industry, according to a  new report released by Carnegie Mellon University. continue reading »

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UGA dedicates Delta Innovation Hub in recognition of major gift


By David Schwartz
Published: December 14th, 2021

Last week the University of Georgia dedicated the Delta Innovation Hub, named in recognition of The Delta Air Lines Foundation’s support for innovation and entrepreneurship at UGA. continue reading »

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Drafting and Negotiating Industry-Sponsored Research Agreements


By David Schwartz
Published: December 14th, 2021

Landing an industry research partnership is no easy task and can take years to complete, but in many cases the “last mile” — when contracts are negotiated and drafted — is the toughest. It’s also the point at which the long-term value you hope to create with your corporate partner can either be cemented or put in jeopardy. The terms you agree on can set the stage for an incredibly productive and long-lasting relationship, but without proper alignment and careful drafting they can also set the deal up for confusion, conflict and failure.

That’s why we’ve created Drafting and Negotiating Industry-Sponsored Research Agreements, a four-program distance learning collection that’s filled with best practices, expert guidance, and key strategies that will ensure your industry partnership agreements are built to last.

These programs cover some of the most critical and trickiest issues you’ll face, including master research agreements, IP rights, preferential rights, and conflicts of interest – four outstanding

sessions that you can share with staff and keep for future education and training. Here’s what’s included:

For complete details on the collection, click here.

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Bayer Crop Science launches call for plant-based protein research


By David Schwartz
Published: December 14th, 2021

Bayer Crop Science is running a campaign through IN-PART’s Discover platform to find and fund new academic partners working on plant-based protein production for human health, sustainable agriculture, food and industrial applications. continue reading »

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La Trobe U extends partnership with Optus to develop 5G lab


By David Schwartz
Published: December 14th, 2021

Australia’s La Trobe University and Optus Enterprise, one of that country’s leading communications and networking companies, have signed an extension to their 2016 partnership designed to support the Digital University of the Future. continue reading »

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MagCorp creates “Shared IP Model” to help simplify partnership structure


By David Schwartz
Published: December 7th, 2021

A detailed article on the Shared IP Model of university-industry contracting appears in the November issue of University-Industry Engagement Advisor. For subscription information, click here. 

Magnetics Corporation (MagCorp), a new company co-founded by alumni of Florida State University, has established what it asserts is a unique model for university-industry partnership, highlighted by a “Shared IP Model” that pre-designates the division of IP rights.

The initial implementation of the model, which involves not only FSU but also the National High Magnetic Field Laboratory — a facility at FSU that has the highest-powered magnet laboratory in the world — was unveiled at a recent UIDPConnect 2021 session entitled, “Revolutionizing Technology Development Partnerships.” The model seeks to remove traditional barriers to university-industry collaborations, often involving IP conflicts.

The five-year agreement allows university researchers to work within the lab, with one of its main goals being the acceleration of magnet technology development. “We host users annually from 135 universities in the U.S. and 114 around the world; 20 government labs and 25 around the world; and 20 U.S. industry research groups and 13 overseas,” shared Greg Boebinger, a staff member in the National High Magnetic Field Laboratory (MagLab). “When we have an idea that could be commercialized, we do not have the ability to do that.” In this new relationship, he asserted, “we can match the pace and deliberativeness of universities with the speed of industry.”

The idea for MagCorp was hatched several years ago through discussions with industry partners, said director and co-founder Jeff Whalen. Whalen has a PhD from FSU, served on the research faculty at MagLab for 10 years, and is now a STEM entrepreneur in residence at the university’s Jim Moran College of Entrepreneurship. He said that industry identified a gap between what was scientifically invigorating and what could make cash flow. “Those two don’t always mesh,” noted Whalen. “This problem-solving gap was the impetus for creating MagCorp, and the biggest driver.”

The commercial sector has been hesitant to cross the gap, Whalen asserted, because of confusion about the process. When you talk to commercial partners and ask why they don’t engage and try to leverage their assets, he explained, they respond with questions like “Who do I call?” “How do I start?” “Do they have what I need?” “What will the deal look like?” “How much will this cost?” “What kind of approvals do I need?”

In addition to such questions, Whalen noted, industry objections included the fact that universities operate at a different speed, which will not suffice for what they need to do operationally, and that when they talk to university representatives, they feel like they are getting a science lesson. “Nobody wants to talk about business opportunity,” complained one industry partner.

“There has just never been an advocate for facilitating this communication,” said Whalen. “We refer to MagCorp as a destination for scientists to have the infrastructure to solve problems that industry faces today — right now — to literally be able to put MagLab to work for industry partners.”

At the core of MagCorp’s solution is its shared IP model: 40% to the industry client; 40% to FSU/MagLab; and 20% to MagCorp. The company has also executed a Master Services Agreement with FSU, so “expectations are set, and projects begin faster.”

MagCorp CEO and Chief Legal Counsel Abby Queale, who holds a law degree from FSU, recalled learning about the challenges of dealing with IP while in the FSU legal office, “when tomatoes were thrown at me” for holding up deals.

She says this IP model addresses those challenges. “This split does not just make it easy,” she noted. “We looked at how it’s done in industry. At MagCorp, the split among the co-founders [is appropriate] because we’re more valuable as a trio than any combination of two or one of us. Academia gets a very good split, too, especially with large grants that are multi-disciplined or multi-institutional. That’s very astute joint IP management. What’s new here is the three-way split. When you talk to industry, they say ‘we funded the project — we probably should own all the IP.’ I think that’s correct. The universities say, ‘We’ve invested a large amount of money into a unique world-class infrastructure and faculty,’ and when I was there, I thought they were right as well.”

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Drafting and Negotiating Industry-Sponsored Research Agreements is a four-program distance learning collection that’s filled with best practices, expert guidance, and key strategies that will ensure your industry partnership agreements are built to last. Click here for details.

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New Oxford-GSK Institute of Molecular and Computational and Medicine launched


By David Schwartz
Published: December 7th, 2021

The University of Oxford (UK) GlaxoSmithKline plc announced a major five-year collaboration to establish the Oxford-GSK Institute of Molecular and Computational Medicine, based on campus at the university. The new Institute’s goal is to improve the success and speed of R&D efforts aimed at bringing new medicines to patients suffering from devastating illnesses. The effort will build on insights from human genetics using advanced technologies such as functional genomics and machine learning. continue reading »

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Returning Intellectual Property to the Inventor: How, Why, When…Then What?


By David Schwartz
Published: December 7th, 2021

Once an invention is disclosed, the path to commercialization begins. Critical assessments then determine whether the technology has a market, a market need, and can be patented or otherwise IP-protected, and down the road it goes…

In some cases those assessments return with too many negatives — there may be too little interest among licensees or investors, difficulty in scaling up, competition and regulatory risks, and many other challenges that can be too difficult to overcome despite the TTO’s best efforts.

Rather than having the case files simply gather dust, the intellectual property can be — and in many cases should be — released back to the inventor. But that also has its challenges. For one, you must be very clear on restrictions and rights when doing so because there are many players and factors to consider. There’s also the valuable relationship with the inventor, which should be preserved and even strengthened. A delicate touch is necessary to communicate why the IP is being released, what led to the decision, and what the rights of the university, funding sources, and faculty are in relation to the innovation.

To address these issues, Tech Transfer Central’s Distance Learning Division has teamed with Magdalena K. Morgan, PhD, Director of Licensing at Virginia Commonwealth University’s Innovation Gateway, for this insightful distance learning program: Returning Intellectual Property to the Inventor: How, Why, When…Then What?, schedule for January 13, 2022. 

For complete program details or to register, click here.  

Also coming soon:

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McGill U gets $2M from TD Bank for research into clean energy storage and conversion


By David Schwartz
Published: December 7th, 2021

McGill University’s efforts to contribute to a more sustainable energy future are getting a big boost thanks to a $2 million donation from TD Bank Group (TD). continue reading »

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Oregon State joins roundtable representing outdoor recreation industry


By David Schwartz
Published: December 7th, 2021

Oregon State University’s Center for the Outdoor Recreation Economy (CORE) has joined other leading recreation organizations as the newest member — and the first higher education member — of the Outdoor Recreation Roundtable (ORR). The National Marine Manufacturers Association (NMMA) is a founding member of the roundtable. continue reading »

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Survey report examines university export control compliance practices


By David Schwartz
Published: December 7th, 2021

Export Controls Compliance Practices Benchmarks for Higher Education contains a wealth of data and in-depth analysis that’s become more critical than ever in light of intense scrutiny of foreign influence in research activity.

This one-of-a-kind resource provides a rich set of benchmarks and data to compare against your own practices and procedures regarding compliance with U.S. export control regulations and related strictures. You’ll find detailed data on staffing, budgets, data protection, legal costs, compliance training, and risk assessment, along with invaluable peer advice. This 92-page study is jam-packed with dozens of easy to scan charts and figures displaying critical data you can’t find in any other publication. 

For complete details and to order, click here.

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Ole Miss School of Pharmacy partners with Takeda on pharmacy administration fellowship


By David Schwartz
Published: December 7th, 2021

The University of Mississippi School of Pharmacy and Takeda Pharmaceuticals have established a new fellowship that will help pharmacy administration students gain valuable industry experience in a real-world setting. continue reading »

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