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News article29 February 2024European Innovation Council and SMEs Executive Agency1 min read

Licensing Paves the Path for Collaborative Ventures in University Technology Transfer

Patents continue to serve as a significant avenue for research-intensive universities to exploit their work. However, the landscape of commercialisation is evolving. Direct licensing to large corporations seems to be diminishing, as universities are now increasingly tasked with advancing technologies to more mature stages and mitigating risks and new actors stepping in to support university ecosystems. Meanwhile in place of traditional licensing agreements, technology transfer is now more commonly achieved through partnerships. Companies are seeking to navigate the uncertainties associated with early-stage innovations in rapidly moving, multidisciplinary fields.

One driving force behind these changes is the growing interdisciplinary nature of technologies, which now often span across fields such as information technology and the life sciences. This interdisciplinary aspect can also impact the intellectual property (IP) components of deals. “It’s not just a patent that is being licensed, but also things like non-patented cell lines or non-patented software,” said Van Dun, general manager of the technology transfer office at KU Leuven in Belgium. “So, you can see a slight trend towards package deals rather than simple patent licensing.”



Publication date
29 February 2024
European Innovation Council and SMEs Executive Agency