Presentation on theme: "N Managing technology transfer at universities – the Cambridge experience Iberian Technology Transfer Conference 29 November 2010 Dr Richard Jennings,"— Presentation transcript:
N Managing technology transfer at universities – the Cambridge experience Iberian Technology Transfer Conference 29 November 2010 Dr Richard Jennings, Deputy Director Cambridge Enterprise Limited, University of Cambridge
University of Cambridge Established in 1209 A complex organisation – traditional but ever- changing 31 Colleges (provide board, lodging, personal tuition) Over 150 departments, faculties and institutes Students: 11,400 undergraduates, 5,600 postgraduates 20% from overseas from over 100 countries World class ranking (position is metric dependent) QS (1), THES (6= Oxford), Shanghai Jiao (5)
University Research Funding
The Cambridge Phenomenon Cambridge is a “low risk environment to carry out high risk ventures”. An ancient university at the heart of one of Europe's biggest science and technology clusters - modest globally in number of employees and companies but some unique qualities University people and ideas are at the core of many new technology ventures Over 1,000 innovation based companies >500 in IT and >200 in Life Sciences, the most rapidly expanding sectors Nicknamed ‘Silicon Fen’ Cambridge Cluster fourth in Europe for total European institutional investment in Largest amount of investment per capita in Europe in (Library House Cambridge Cluster Report 2007) University organisations have helped to develop the infrastructure of the cluster - the Cambridge Science Park (Trinity College), St John’s Innovation Centre (St John’s College) and Peterhouse Technology Park (Peterhouse) and most recently the Hauser Forum.
Factors that help knowledge transfer in Cambridge Permeable boundaries between the University, colleges and the community Community – something significant and special that is Making a real impact on the world ( Newton, Darwin, Thompson, Rutherford, Crick and Watson, Sanger, Edwards... and many other Nobel prize winners ) Based on a history of fundamental research generating long term practical applications Collaboration – a sense of community, collegiality, consensus and partnerships: organisations and individuals are Effective networkers and willing to help each other e.g. a high level of engagement of the business community in enterprise education activities Diverse but constructive chaos – an open culture - no one group ‘organises’ Cambridge New initiatives are continuously springing up – interactions are non-linear Some succeed, some fail but all feed into the mix
Collective success factors for a technology cluster Good technological infra – structure ( ICT, roads, rails, air, stable and good quality water and electricity supplies) Finance ( close links between business and finance – good quality money – seed, angel, VCs, banks) Legal infrastructure – lawyers, patent attorneys – responsive and pro-active Skill base – the whole range including technical and commercial skills and expertise A research based university Well networked and entrepreneurial culture – good role models with an ability to assess, take and manage risk ( failure as a necessary learning experience?) Good international links Quality of life - weather, scenery, schools, cultural activities
Processes for knowledge transfer Natural flow of people and knowledge as a result of teaching and publication of research results – key output but hard to quantify economic value/impact – long timescales, non-linear, two way Ad hoc activities of individuals through advisory work, consultancy and spin-off companies Sponsorship of individual research projects Increasingly orchestrated and managed activities - often interdisciplinary, regional, national and international with many partners Protection and exploitation of both knowledge and intellectual property through consultancy, patenting, licensing and spin-off companies Common theme: high quality initiatives of mutual benefit
How industry accesses and partners with Cambridge Consultancy relationships with University researchers – Cambridge Enterprise (and directly with individuals) Collaborative research – Cambridge Research Office IP options and licensing – Cambridge Enterprise Spin-outs - Cambridge Enterprise (or directly with entrepreneurs) Donations and gifts – Cambridge University Development Office Student initiatives – CUTEC, CUE and the CU Enterprise Network Executive education and consultation – Judge Business School Executive Education; Institute for Manufacturing and Programme for Sustainable Leadership Recruitment – Careers Service
University benefits include New resources – funding and know how Industrial sponsorship leverages public funding New perspectives and dimensions to research and teaching Industry's task orientated approach encourages multi -disciplinary collaboration and enhanced project management Access to industrial facilities, materials and specialist services Facilitates knowledge transfer, dissemination of research results and societal benefit Recruitment opportunities for students, post docs and academic members of staff
Industry benefits include Excellence in research provides a technical and commercial leading edge and stimulates innovation Leverage of investment from public funds High calibre collaborators – staff, students and technicians Recruitment opportunities Access to specialist know how, equipment and facilities Access to networks – “Open Innovation” Insights into unique management approaches – management of networks, management by consensus
Developing Core Principles for collaborations 1.Freedom and resources to carry out fundamental research - basic research is the source of the most disruptive and novel discoveries. 2.Uncompromised student experience – students must be able to publish and discuss their work. 3.Publishing to add to the base of knowledge – a core University mission. 4.Preserving an academic’s right to follow his/her line of enquiry – regardless of what is transferred, rights must be retained for this purpose. 5.Unfettered access to research tools – also important to the base of knowledge. 6.Commercialisation for the benefit of society - diligent commercialisation (no shelving of inventions) is core to dissemination of research results for the benefit of society.
Core Principles (continued) 7.Recognition of individuals’ and University’s contributions to commercial outcomes - responsibility to capture a fair return and irresponsible not to - all returns are used to encourage and support innovation and the University’s mission. 8.Managing proprietary information of the company and that relating to new inventions – a potentially daunting task - an academic environment may not be the right place for the most sensitive confidential information. 9.Meeting obligations to multiple research sponsors – most research and many discoveries are the result of support from multiple sources. 10.Business-like costing and pricing of research – the costs of industry research should be fully covered by the collaborative partner and not be unknowingly cross subsidised.
IP Policy and Practice The University of Cambridge has a flexible policy (December 2005) and practice conducive to all models of knowledge transfer - decisions made on what is best for dissemination of research results for the public benefit. The policy provides clear guidelines for ownership and incentives for academics to participate in knowledge and technology transfer. Important as University academics primary obligations are to teaching and research Resources for proof-of-concept work in addition to traditional technology transfer services support the development of innovations from basic and fundamental research which have the most commercial potential.
Cambridge Enterprise Ltd “Cambridge Enterprise exists to help University of Cambridge inventors, innovators and entrepreneurs make their ideas and concepts more commercially successful for the benefit of society, the UK economy, the inventors and the University”
Goals...to take the most promising ideas forward through IPR licensing, new venture creation and consultancy by: building strong relationships with University academics to encourage disclosure and cooperative management of the most promising innovations making significant, measurable progress toward financial sustainability to generate long term benefits for academics, departments and University being an attractive partner for industry and investors to take University ideas forward through commercial channels
Principles 1.Accept cases into the portfolio with the strongest potential to make a significant positive impact and using commercial channels are the most reasonable means to bring the idea forward 2.Take the course which supports commercialisation of the technology 3.Work effectively with the inventor(s) to support their aspirations, manage conflicts and encourage synergy with the mission of the University 4.Find the best partner (licensee or start-up senior management and investors) to take the idea forward 5.Negotiate fair and reasonable terms which reflect the contribution of the assets and expertise being transferred 6.Close lots of good deals 7.Look after the deals once they are close d
Cambridge Enterprise Group
Group Performance 2008/ new IP disclosures received 124 patent applications filed – priority, PCT and nationals 83 IP transactions signed: 50 for commercial purposes and 33 for other purposes, including research licences 499 active IP and licence agreements under management including 143 research licences 153 active consultancy projects in portfolio 124 consultancy agreements signed 13 investments contributing new equity to the portfolio (8 through £349k seed investment and 5 through IP investment) 72 companies in which Cambridge Enterprise holds equity Equity realisations of £160k were received from seed investments £8 million in knowledge and technology transfer income including equity realisations from licensing £5.7 million of knowledge and technology transfer income was or will be returned to academics and University departments
CE Group Income - Technology and Knowledge Transfer Services
Companies originating at Cambridge in our equity portfolio
Some final thoughts UK universities are independent charities not conventional businesses Working with industry and other external bodies can create conflicts of interest The safe option is to do nothing but the more interesting and exciting option is to identify conflicts and manage them effectively and constructively All partners need to be healthy for successful collaborations Mutual benefits are real but need to be thoughtfully articulated and the interfaces managed The economic and political drivers for fruitful collaborations are greater than ever both in the UK and worldwide The interface with industry is dynamic and needs active management Creating and manna
Thank you for your attention and I will be pleased to answer any questions.
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