Creating markets from research results
6-7 May 2013
European Patent Office, Munich, Germany
The role of universities in national innovation systems has expanded from the production of scientific knowledge for economic growth to include solving large scale challenges, such as climate change and energy and addressing social needs.
Without adequate strategies and policy support to manage IP effectively, there is a risk that inventions and ideas produced by universities and public research organisations may not be exploited. Such strategies and policies have therefore become a matter of top priority for policymakers, funding agencies and business, all of whom have a high degree of interest in the ability of universities to diffuse knowledge. Universities in turn have a strong interest in seeing their research put to good use for society and in enhancing their relevance to society, including through collaboration and economic development.
While the prospect of using the commercialisation of IP as a source of additional income for research is not a realistic priority for most universities, IP management remains an important element in any university’s strategy,particularly in the context of the EU Horizon 2020. The different roles, missions and resources of universities and public research organisations can lead to differences in IP policies and commercialisation practices, which can be a driver or a barrier to commercialisation. There is therefore a need for a deeper understanding of their impact on both research and commercialisation.
The conference therefore aims to:
- promote understanding and awareness of the importance of IP policies and procedures for the long-term strategy and mission of universities and public research organisations;
- promote the establishment of structures which will allow the implementation of IP management in universities;
- identify novel practices for fostering and accelerating the transfer, exploitation and commercialisation of knowledge with a view to developing international best practice; and
- encourage closer collaboration between universities and industry.
I think we also need to think about the possible negative impact of commercialisation on university research. Will it hinder funding or carrying out of non-commercialisable research? Will it cause science output to be judged along commercial lines? Will it lead to more stress and pressure for academics?
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