Technology Transfer Process
The Technology Transfer Process
LEARN ABOUT THE PROCESS
Report and evaluation
When you have notified The Technology Transfer Office about your invention, your invention will be forwarde to novelty screening at a patent agency to clarify whether or not the invention has a novelty and inventive step, which are the key issues for obtaining a patent.
The novelty screening is carried out by the patent agency, which will contact you, and jointly you decide on a patent technical search profile containing relevant search material concerning the invention. When the novelty screening is completed by the patent agency, the result is send to the Technology Transfer Office. The Technology Transfer Office subsequently contacts you for feedback concerning the result of the novelty screening.
The Technology Transfer Office will make a commercial evaluation of the invention. This, among other things, is done by completing market analyses and by contacting our network of professionals, companies and investors. Based on the results of the novelty screening and commercial evaluation one of the following will take place:
- Aalborg University decides to take over the rights to the invention and initiates an active commercialization process.
- Aalborg University decides not to take over the rights to the invention. The rights consequently remain by the inventor.
In either case remuneration is according to the AAU remuneration rules.
If Aalborg University acquires the rights to your invention, the interaction between you and the Technology Transfer Office is essential to creating commercial results.
In order to achieve the best process and the best results in terms of novelty screening, commercialization and the potential patenting of your invention, you must expect to be actively involved throughout the entire process in a collaborative endeavor with the Technology Transfer Office and external actors. Throughout the entire process, your research and teaching activities will of course be taken into account.
The commercialization strategy is always adapted to the invention and the resources available, and clarified and agreed on with you as the inventor[ including:
- The inventor’s intentions with the invention
- The invention’s technical stage and scalability
- R&D resources and necessary activities that must take place in order to generate interest from businesses (this is often the case with early stage inventions)
- Details of what the invention can be used for, and selecting the application(s) to commercialize
- What is the invention’s unique value contribution? How does the invention give value? And how is the invention better than existing solutions?
- Specific businesses/investors who must be contacted in order to verify their commercial interest in the invention.
Once the strategy is in place, the focus switches to marketing the technology to relevant businesses/investors.
If the invention is the result of a research partnership, contacts with potential buyers will initially be limited to the partners in the project since they usually have the first right to evaluate any commercial interest in exploiting the invention. Since the partners already have a thorough understanding of the project’s research and are already bound by a non-disclosure agreement, the process begins with sending the invention disclosure to the partners, and/or by presenting the invention at a steeringgroup committee meeting within the project. If there is initial interest, the next step is often detailed discussions on the invention and the commercial potential for the companies in the project with the aim of making an IPR agreement.
If the invention is free of pre-agreements, the first step is to contact the businesses/investors we haveagreed to contact, and through a discussion of their needs in terms of the advantages and applications of the invention, generate initial interest in learning more. If interest is generated on the basis of limited information, this is usually followed by establishing a non-disclosure agreement. This makes it possible to share the details of the invention, whether through the exchange of written documentation or through meetings with these business(es), where the invention and research results are presented and discussed in relation to company needs and the commercial potential they see in relation to their application of the technology.
If the marketing is successful, the process continues with negotiation of the IPR agreement. Depending on the nature of technology and the needs of the businesses/investors, the negotiation of the IPR agreement will usually end up in either a licensing agreement or transfer agreement against payment. In special cases, where the nature of the technology and the market potential are significant enough, the IPR agreement forms the basis for the creation of a spin-out company. In this case, payment normally takes the form of shares in the company.
The negotiation with the company, is always performed in cooperation between Grants & Contracts and the Technology Transfer Office on the legal and commercial aspects, with support from the inventor in relation to the transfer of technology and knowledge.
Commercialization happens when there is an agreement with a business on the use of the technology against payment.
When marketing the technology, and if it is interesting to the inventor, we facilitate the opportunity to negotiate and/or apply for a new joint research project in the same area as the invention. This ensures the customer-company the best possible conditions for bringing the technology to market in a product or service, so any payments relating to commercial success are ensured in the best possible way. At the same time, the inventor’s research in his/her field is secured for a period, closing the innovation circle and offering the opportunity for new groundbreaking research findings and inventions.