Universities take a more investor-friendly approach to IP

Universities are, by their very nature, hotbeds of research and innovation. The question has always been, how do we best transfer that innovation from the lab out into the real world – how can this research be commercialised?

One of the biggest hurdles to getting technology from universities out into the market has been that of intellectual property – who does this technology belong to and who can benefit from it? Traditionally, many universities have been loath to part with their IP rights, which is a death knell for any investment a potential spinout may be hoping for. Investors want to know that the company they’re investing in owns the very thing that gives it value.

Today I’m pleased to be joined once again by Kim Moore, deputy editor of GCV and editor of Global University Venturing, about the changes that have been happening on this front at German universities, which are slowly moving to new models of IP transfer that are more friendly to early-stage investors who may want to back a university spinout.

Models like giving over the IP in return for shares in an eventual exit are becoming increasingly popular, and some universities have seen that transfer process, which could typically take up to a year, reduced down to around 12 weeks, making both investors and innovation professionals within universities optimistic about commercialising research going forward.

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