Keywords: sponsored research, research commercialisation, intellectual property, collaboration, industry links, higher education research, innovation, technology management
Managing sponsored research rewards to industry and universities
Since the passing of the Bayh Dole Act in 1980, industry sponsorship of research in the USA has been a successful platform upon which universities have been able to commercialise research outcomes. In doing so, universities have realised commercial income from their research outcomes, by then licensing those research outcomes to industry partners. Universities in other countries, including Australia, want to emulate that success, and in part have attempted to do so by adopting the same reward models for relationships with industry partners that are employed in the USA. These efforts have sometimes had only marginal success. This has been so because Australia and other countries do not have the same legal framework and environment as the USA, and this affects the indiscriminate use of US reward models in other countries. This raises the challenge in other countries for more inventive reward models for relationships with industry to be developed. This paper examines three reward models: offering to industry sponsors an option to negotiate an exclusive license; the joint ownership of research outcomes; and assignment to the industry sponsor of research outcomes, and assesses the use of each of these models in Australia, a country with a different legal framework and environment to that in the USA.