University pioneers free Intellectual Property for industry

Published: Mon 29 Nov 2010 04:51 PM
In a first for the UK, the University of Glasgow is to offer Intellectual Property – including ground-breaking medical and scientific research - to business and entrepreneurs free of charge.
Speeding up and simplifying IP transfer, the move will revolutionise the relationship between academic research and commercial enterprise and make Glasgow the most libertarian University in the UK for IP access.
Through a dedicated University of Glasgow website - ‘Easy Access IP’ - cutting edge innovation and patents will be immediately and directly available to those companies and individuals who can make best use of the research.
University of Glasgow Principal Anton Muscatelli explained the rationale behind the move: “One of the core missions of the University is the creation, advancement and sharing of knowledge and we aim to transfer as much IP into commercial use as we can, to the benefit of our partners, the community and the economy. Our objective is to demonstrate the relevance, importance and impact of Glasgow’s research and to help UK companies maximise their competitive edge internationally.”
Free IP from the University of Glasgow is expected to be particularly attractive to small and medium-sized businesses. It is anticipated that the initiative will lead to further collaboration with companies and long-term industry partnerships.
Former ‘dragon’ on the BBC TV series Dragon’s Den, Doug Richard is an enthusiastic supporter of the move, he said: “Providing easy access to University IP will increasingly be one of the key drivers that helps British business keep pace with global competitors. I welcome this bold move by Glasgow University which encourages greater and, crucially, quicker cooperation between research and industry to give companies who make use of it the competitive edge.“
Iain Gray, Chief Executive of the Technology Strategy Board said: “Technology licensing in the UK can sometimes be a laborious process which can inhibit the sharing of IP between universities and businesses. Glasgow University’s Easy Access IP initiative will make it easier for companies to make use of innovative research and technology for the benefit of all. The move will help build better and lasting relationships between research and enterprise which will have long-term leading to benefits for everyone involved.”
Glasgow’s innovative approach to IP has been endorsed by industrial funders and Research Councils UK (RCUK) who recognise that, while a small proportion of high value University of Glasgow IP will still be made available to industry through traditional licensing and spin-out companies alone, offering the bulk of IP to a larger audience for free adds value to the UK economy.
Professor David Delpy, Research Councils UK Champion for Impact and Chief Executive of EPSRC said: "Research Councils UK recognises that the successful application of research may lead to direct financial impact but, more commonly, delivers wider societal benefits. We welcome the University of Glasgow's new approach to IP management, and encourage other research organisations to consider innovative and appropriate ways of managing intellectual assets - including recognising circumstances where free access might be the most effective approach - to ensure that potential economic and societal benefits can be realised by beneficiaries."

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