We believe in giving our research, technologies and innovations the best possible chance to make an impact on society and the economy.
To make this happen, we know it’s important that UTS is flexible, straightforward and professional when collaborating with organisations on research projects. We have developed simple and open intellectual property (IP) policies to ensure UTS is easy to deal with and our IP has the best chance of success in the ‘real’ world.
The process of commercialisation within universities, or taking technologies to the market, is known as ‘technology transfer’ and plays an important role in the government's innovation agenda. Our Commercialisation Team consists of experienced professionals from industry who work closely with organisations in the private, public and not-for-profit sector to deliver our research, technologies and innovations. With access to a wide network of funders, investors and entrepreneurs, the team has established many licensing agreements, research collaborations and spin-out companies.
To learn how our research, product, licensing and commercialisation opportunities can benefit your organisation, please email our Commercialisation Team: email@example.com.
Our IP principles
Our approach to IP and commercialisation
>> TEXT: Leading disability provider Northcott Innovation collaborated with UTS to bring their innovative Step Climber wheelchair to market.
>> LIZ FORSYTH: Good morning minister, Professor Brungs, distinguished representatives from the Australian Technology Network of Universities, ladies and gentleman. I’d like to acknowledge that we are meeting on Aboriginal land today and pay my respects to the elders past and present. It is with great pleasure that I’m here today speaking at the launch of the ATN IP Principles and showcasing Northcott Innovation’s partnership with UTS as an example of the benefits and impact of the collective and flexible approach to intellectual property.
Northcott Innovation is a start-up not for profit organisation. We do focus on innovation to enable co-creation of solutions to support people with a disability to be living as equals in the community. We work from customer need through co-design innovation processes to develop products and services. The Step Climber came out of such a process. The Step Climber is an affordable wheelchair attachment that aims to enable the 17 thousand Australians and many more world-wide who use an electric wheelchair to negotiate curbs and single steps. The attachment can be fitted to existing chairs, thus providing the additional functionality without requiring the purchase of a whole new wheelchair. As you can imagine, The Step Climber has enormous potential to change the lives of people who use wheelchairs.
Small things like entering a building with a single step, or negotiating a footpath with no curb cuts can be frustratingly difficult for those who use wheelchairs. To remove this barrier is no small feat. The Step Climber will level the playing field and build an inclusive society. We’ve been collaborating with UTS to develop the Step Climber since its inception, probably about over seven years ago and we’re ready to take the step to commercialisation. We have found UTS’s approach to intellectual property to be flexible and focused on rapid transition to commercialisation. They have exemplified several principles being launched today. They have encouraged their staff and students to work with us on a significant challenge faced by our society, that of inclusion, principal one. This has included seconding a UTS staff member to Northcott Innovation for a period of time to solely focus on the path to commercialisation, which has been incredibly beneficial for the project.
We know IP negotiations can be protracted and this can inhibit innovation and progress to commercialisation. As principals four and seven encourage, the interaction between UTS and Northcott Innovation have been transparent, flexible and prompt. UTS’s easy access IP agreement has given us the opportunity and commercial incentive to exploit the IP rights of our project. Collaboration for the Step Climber project has also been supported by Northcott Innovation Staff moving into the UTS industry hub. This has been positive for the communication and innovation required for the project’s success and has enabled us to pursue other collaboration opportunities with UTS. We are also investigating solutions to acquired brain injury in the criminal justice system, designing new tools and toys for people with disability to explore sexuality and using design-led innovation to create sustainable accommodation futures for young people with a disability.
We are very excited to see the standardised approach to IP being adopted across the ATN. It will bring, help bring innovation out of the university and into the community. These IP principals will also help organisations like Northcott Innovation to innovate and provide meaningful and useful solutions for our customers and the broader community. Thank you.
As a member of the Australian Technology Network of Universities (ATN), we ascribe to the following IP principles:
- We actively encourage students and staff to undertake research that is relevant to challenges faced by society and in partnership with industry, government and community groups.
- As guided by our industry partners, we encourage them to own and take the lead in commercialisation of intellectual property generated from industry-funded research when they are best placed to do so.
- We support access to the IP based on fair and equitable terms, in a timely manner.
- Our interactions with industry will be governed by transparent, flexible and user-friendly system that supports and encourages engagement using a range of IP models.
- As an ATN university, we will make public our Intellectual Property Policies and Standard Commercial Agreement templates, to provide a simple and transparent framework.
- We actively encourage and promote an entrepreneurial culture for our staff and students. This includes a system of support to facilitate the creation of new ventures where our staff and students are appropriately involved.
- All partnerships and resultant commercial agreements will be developed and negotiated in a prompt manner and in keeping with these principles.