Monday, 23 May 2011

Universities and intellectual asset management: a guide

I've just been reading a media release from the UK government's Department of Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) which informs me that universities can now access a new tool to help develop and manage their intellectual assets. This tool is a strategy guide, ‘Intellectual Asset Management for Universities’ -- and it's not totally new, since it replaces an older version, first produced in 2003.

According to the media release,
"The new guide provides advice and information to universities to help them understand how they can best use their institution’s intellectual property (IP). This can be an invention, trade mark, original design or the application of a good idea. 
Income generated through the commercial use of intellectual property rights can be worth millions of pounds. In 2009/10 £84 million was generated directly from IP at universities.[This sounds like a lot of money, but if you consider that there are 129 universities in the UK that's just over £650,000 per university.  The real amount per university other than Imperial College is probably very small. Does anyone have figures?] ...

One example of an institution which demonstrates how effective policies can underpin the commercialisation of intellectual property is Cardiff University, which has generated around £7 million in licence fees and royalties over the last five years through implementing its Innovation and Engagement Strategy. The university’s research has been developed into a number of commercial ventures such as MedaPhor Limited, an ultrasound simulation business which specialises in the development and sale of advanced virtual ultrasound training systems for the healthcare service. 
Since 2004 MedaPhor has benefited from over £1.3 million of investment and new product development grants. It has also created more than 40 high tech jobs in the local area. Its ScanTrainer which provides fast and effective ultrasound training has now been sold to 11 hospitals and academic institutions in the UK. The company is now expanding its distribution to Europe, the US, the Far East and the Gulf. ...
The booklet has been produced thanks to contributions from a number of partners including Research Councils UK (RCUK), the Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE), Universities UK (UUK), PraxisUnico and AURIL (the Association for University Research and Industry Links).
The guide, which is 46 sides in total, can be found on the IPO website, here. It's actually very good for anyone needing to ease themselves into this area.  It's well written and clearly presented; some technical stuff, such as the explanation of the different Lambert agreements, is left to the annexes.


Michael Smith said...

This ties in nicely with the CIPA Debate on the "great IP giveaway" on 30 June.

Nick White said...

I think you will find some interesting data on University IP revenues here.

Discussed on PraxisUnico LinkedIn Group