LONDON A set of model agreements to help business-university collaborative working and speed up negotiations for intellectual property (IP) have been unveiled by the Chancellor of the Exchequer, Gordon Brown and Science Minister, Lord Sainsbury.
The model agreements are part of a web-based toolkit, launched at a DTI Science and Innovation conference in Manchester. They are the latest step to strengthen the long-term links between universities and business in order to push forward the development of successful science and research.
The toolkit will help take the hassle out of negotiating collaborative research agreements. It particularly focuses on financial contribution, the use and exploitation of IP, academic publication and confidentiality.
The toolkit includes draft text for five different types of business-university agreement, a decision tree to help the user identify which agreement to use; * clear guidance notes on each part of the agreement, and a list of all the issues covered in the agreement.
Lord Sainsbury, said, “The interaction between universities and business is stronger than it ever has been and these voluntary new products should help its further development. Collaborative working is essential if the UK is to compete in the new global economy on the basis of innovation. Using examples of best practice, these model agreements will allow potential business and university collaborators to identify the essential elements for successful and effective agreements – smoothing the path between ground-breaking research and innovative products.”
The toolkit is the latest development in the Government's plan, the Science and Innovation Investment Framework 2004-2014, which outlines the long-term vision for UK Science.
It was one of the recommendations that came out of the Lambert Review, commissioned by the Government, to strengthen collaboration between Britain's strong science and business communities. The Patent Office facilitated the Lambert Working Group on IP, which brought together over 40 stakeholders, including businesses both large and small, and universities both old and new.