Getting research into business

March 22, 2002

Helping vice-chancellors and policy-makers to get the most out of the creative capital in universities is the aim of a guide launched this week.

Managing Intellectual Property is a joint venture involving the Department of Trade and Industry, the Patent Office, Universities UK and the Association of University Research and Industry Links. It sets out best practice in intellectual property management and offers advice on choosing the right model. Themes covered include:

  • Budget management:how to cut investment risks and how to negotiate financial returns
  • Ownership of intellectual property and negotiations with sponsors
  • Collaboration between universities to manage intellectual property
  • Performance indicators and evaluation: how university managers can identify problems and opportunities relating to intellectual property management and modify budgets and strategies accordingly.

The guide also tries to show how a well-managed intellectual property portfolio can make universities more attractive partners to sponsors while ensuring that researchers get access to the results of their work for future projects and teaching.

John Archer, chairman of the steering committee for the guide, said it sought to help senior university personnel identify those issues that had to be addressed to realise the full benefits of intellectual property management.

"Good intellectual property management is essential for knowledge transfer, and it also contributes to other university aims and objectives," he said.

Science minister Lord Sainsbury said that helping transform the ideas of the UK's scientific brains into prosperity and jobs was essential if the strength of the economy was to be maintained.

"I hope the advice in this guide will support our universities in turning brilliant research into excellent business."

Copies of the guide are available at www.patent.gov.uk

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