What is Commercialisation?
Commercialisation is the process by which the benefits available from an innovation are made accessible to a market(s) in exchange for fair consideration.
What Commercialisation Isn't
In isolation none of these achieve "commercialisation"-
- Securing funds for a research program on a technology that has lots of practical applications
- Filing for patent protection
- Publishing an article that opens up a whole new way to solve a long-standing industrial problem
- Inventing a better, faster, or cheaper way to do something
- Carrying out market research on a problem that your technology might solve
- Writing a great business plan
- Starting a new business
As commercialisation is a multi-faceted process it's rare that one person can meaningfully participate in all stages, none-the-less it's important to understand each of them and to align your contribution to grow and capture value and to facilitate the process.
UTAS researchers play an important role in the commercialisation of UTAS IP and can assist by:
- Fully disclosing any new technologies at the earliest opportunity to BD&TT
- Ensuring the research program is structured to achieve a commercial outcome
- Protecting any commercially valuable IP by working with BD&TT and external council
- Undertaking further R&D to demonstrate proof-of-concept to meet investor/licensee requirements, substantiate claims, and support the commercial partner's activities
- Answer technical queries posed by interested parties
- Write or assist in writing appropriate documents required to proceed with the commercialisation strategy
- Help 'sell' the IP by developing and delivering presentations on the technology in association with BD&TT
The University of Tasmania is one of Australia's leading research and teaching universities, ranking in the top two percent of universities world-wide and renowned for the quality of its research training programs. However, universities generally are not best placed to take a product/ service to the market.
As a result, it is not uncommon for universities and other publicly funded research organisations to only participate in the early stages of commercialisation and partner with business to bring a product or service to market.
However, commercial partners need a commercial reason to take the risk and provide funding for further development, which normally outweighs and often dwarfs research costs. As such, commercial partners often seek to secure some commercial opportunity or advantage when investing in research and development (R&D) whether that is exclusive rights or first to market advantage.
Whilst there are no hard and fast rules on how to commercialise university research, there are a number of common stages used by technology transfer offices:
|1. Research and discovery||Conducting research, taking into consideration your strengths and industry's need|
|2. Disclosure||Disclosing any potentially commercially valuable IP to BD&TT|
|3. Evaluation||BD&TT will evaluate the commercial potential taking into consideration: the technology, the problem, the market, IP position, the team, the business model and funding availability.|
|4. Intellectual Property (IP) protection and packaging||Protection of IP for commercial opportunities|
|5. Proof of concept||Demonstrating that the innovation works by measures business deem appropriate|
|6. Commercial development||This may include collaborating with an existing business or forming a start-up company|
|7. Value adding||Refining the product offering|
|8. Exit||Payment of royalties or realisation of the capital value of the company.|
Importantly, commercialisation is rarely a linear process and is typically long, expensive and complex. BD&TT are here to assist UTAS staff, shepherding early stage ideas through to proof-of-concept (POC) and/or pre-commercial product.
BD&TT can work with you to develop an IP and commercial strategy, which if successful implemented, can offer inventors significant long-term financial benefits.
Share of Net Income
When the University commercialises any intellectual property, it will share certain commercialisation proceeds it receives with those who created the intellectual property and assigned their rights to the University.
In accordance with the University's Intellectual Property Ordinance (PDF 41.0KB), any qualifying commercialisation income received by the University is first used to pay commercialisation costs and any portion which a third party (for example a funding body) claims under our agreements.
The remainder (net commercialisation income) is then split:
- 50% to creators;
- 20% to the School / Faculty/ Institute; and
- 30% to the University, to be used at the discretion of the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research).
Any issues or questions regarding the sharing of commercialisation splits may be referred through BD&TT to the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research).
Additional benefits of participating in commercialisation may also include:
- Satisfaction of bringing benefits to society
- Peer recognition
- Expanded career opportunities
- Professional development
- Alternative sources of funding
- More competitive for future grants and research contracts