Commercialisation of Intellectual Property (IP)
We actively pursue collaborative partnerships to develop novel products and processes for the global marketplace. Our view is that the early development of outcomes from research is best achieved by universities who pursue the commercialisation of the IP they create for the ‘public good’, and then transfer it as soon as appropriate to the commercial sector. We understand the importance of having clear policies and guidance on the identification, protection and early exploitation of our IP by business partners.
Working in Partnership
Our IP experts make sure that the outcomes from our research that have significant commercial value and application are appropriately identified and protected to maintain that value and used as a basis to develop significant collaborative and contract research relationships with businesses.
We collaborate with business in many different ways and we also recognise that IP cuts across many different types of collaborative project and partnership. We ensure that for every partnership we enter into, IP issues are addressed to ensure early and effective commercial exploitation.
Ownership and Access to IP
The mission of the university is to undertake research, publish the outcomes from research, use the outcomes of collaboration as the basis for future research and ensure that the use of outcomes from collaboration are used ethically and appropriately.
The ownership and rights to use IP arising from collaboration differ from collaboration to collaboration, according to the nature and terms of the external partner’s participation, with respect to their leadership, management and direction of the research, what and whose background IP is to be used in carrying out the work and who will fund the cost of the collaboration.
The university commercially licences IP through its wholly owned subsidiary company Lancaster University Business Enterprises Ltd (LUBEL).
There are three main types of licence that LUBEL may enter into with another party. These are:
- Sole - whereby the licensee is granted the only commercial licence to sell the licensed IP or products containing the licensed IP, in the field and the territory as agreed, excluding all others with the exception of LUBEL itself
- Exclusive - whereby the licensee is granted a commercial licence to sell the licensed IP or products containing the licensed IP, in the field, in the territory as agreed, excluding all others including LUBEL
- Non-exclusive - whereby the licensee is granted a commercial licence to sell the licensed IP or products containing the licensed IP, in the field, in the territory as agreed but such licence does not exclude other licences for the same being granted to other parties
Even where a licence is exclusive and excludes all others from use of the licensed IP, the university will endeavour to retain the right to use the licensed IP for further non-commercial research, publication, teaching and the university's own internal purposes in line with its primary function as a research institution.
- Design and additive manufacturing technologies to develop and build new products e.g. a new bespoke locking system, which integrated a fingerprint reader using SolidWorks 3D CAD
- Seed treatment to cut pesticide use, reducing the costs of water treatment via novel magnetic micro-particles and rapid prediction of bioremediationend points
- New generation of adaptive computer keyboards with dynamic key legends able to change under software control and (patent pending) unique new methods of interaction with these devices
- A novel (patent pending) screen-based intelligent advertising system, where the media content is dynamically and automatically changed to suit the audience
- Lancaster University and Cato Consultants Ltd offer specialist training and licensing worldwide in passenger security screening, for example in the aviation industry, through the patent-pending Controlled Cognitive Engagement® technique
- Novel technique, Beam Exit X-section Polishing (BEXP) which allows precision cutting of nanostructures with nanometre flatness or polishing from tens of micrometres to the nm depths from the surface
Science and Technology Spinout Companies
Another way we commercialise our IP is through setting up spin-out companies which offer products and services developed from university IP.
- 21 Media Innovations Ltd - designing intelligent software systems for Internet Protocol Television (IPTV) systems
- Anasys Instruments Ltd- pioneering nano-scale thermal microscopy instrumentation
- Big Dog Interactive Ltd- interactive digital art installations
- Cable-Sense Ltd- real-time diagnostics for communication networks
- DGT Research Ltd- services for water quality measurement
- Entelsensys Ltd- intelligent remote sensing
- Hybrid Instruments Ltd- hightechnology nuclear instrumentation
- Isis Forensics Ltd- forensic analysis of computer-mediated communication
- Lancaster University Network Services Ltd- networking and e-learning services
- Molarity Ltd- business intelligence
- m-ventions Ltd- mobile computing technology
- Quantum Epitaxial Devices Ltd- specialist infra-red semiconductor devices
- Lancaster Cryogenics Ltd world leading technology for ultra-low temperature research
We also encourage and support the formation of start-up companies using unique expertise and resources available within the university, e.g. The REACH Centre Ltd, a private limited company set up specifically to support registrants in meeting their duties under REACH and to effectively manage and comply with current and future chemical legislation.
“The REACH Centre would not have been formed without the strategic support provided by Lancaster Environment Centre and would not be sustainable without the resources made available through locating here.” Jonathan Lutwyche, CEO of The REACH Centre Ltd.
For further information contact: Becky Gordon Operations Manager for Business Partnerships and Enterprise Faculty of Science and Technology Lancaster University Lancaster LA1 4YQ +44 (0)1524 510188