King's College London and University of Bristol: Universities launch ‘Easy Access’
29 June 2011
Universities launch ‘Easy Access’ to their intellectual property
King’s College London and the University of Bristol launched their new intellectual property (IP) now available under ‘Easy Access IP’ this week, a bold initiative that sees valuable university IP released to companies for free, using quick and simple agreements.
As the only three UK universities to adopt this pioneering new approach, King’s and the Universities of Glasgow and Bristol are part of the Easy Access Innovation Partnership, a collaborative project to promote new ways of sharing intellectual property with industry.
Initially launched by the University of Glasgow in November last year, the aim of Easy Access IP is to increase the engagement between universities and industry, and accelerate the transfer of university knowledge and expertise into the hands of the best commercial partner who can develop it to benefit the economy and society.
Dr Malcolm Skingle, Director, Academic Liaison at GlaxoSmithKline, praised the consortium’s efforts to explore new ways of sharing university IP: ‘We welcome new mechanisms that open up the opportunities for engagement between industry and academia, and transfer new technology into the marketplace quicker. While sharing IP through traditional methods and licensing will still be appropriate in some instances, this new approach presents another way for universities to drive the development of new technology.’
While the universities will continue to offer commercial opportunities through traditional licensing methods, its Easy Access portfolios feature certain technologies that will benefit from early exploration and development by a commercial partner.
Dr Alison Campbell OBE, Director of Innovation at King’s, said: ‘Some university IP can be too early-stage for a company to risk investment and could present an uncertain market, which can sometimes hinder industry take-up of IP. By offering easy access to this IP, companies can evaluate it quickly and explore its potential with reduced risk. This also means that we’re disseminating more of our knowledge for public benefit – a key part of our College mission.’
Dr Neil Bradshaw, Director of Enterprise at the University of Bristol, said: ‘As early adopters of the Easy Access IP model we have a real opportunity for companies to move our innovations into the marketplace more quickly and easily than before. This is a significant advance for our Universities and one where we are leading the world.’
Professor Steve Beaumont, Vice-Principal for Research & Enterprise at the University of Glasgow, said, ‘We are delighted that King’s College London and the University of Bristol have adopted the Easy Access approach to their Intellectual Property. We look forward to working closely with them on this exciting project which will raise awareness of the vital role universities have in stimulating innovation.’
Notes to editors
In March 2011, King’s and the Universities of Glasgow and Bristol received an £80,000 award from the Intellectual Property Office (IPO) to fund a collaborative project to create a consortium of open-innovation universities and collectively promote free IP opportunities to industry.