The Ohio IP Promise
In May 2019, the Lieutenant Governor challenged the Inter-University Council of Ohio (IUC) to establish a best in class process for how universities cultivate the licensing of intellectual property (IP) developed by Ohio public universities in order to strengthen Ohio’s economy, attract innovative researchers and serve as a magnet for investors and entrepreneurs.
The IUC convened representatives from the 14 Ohio public university technology transfer offices. Under the leadership of The Ohio State University and University of Cincinnati, this group engaged faculty, research officers, entrepreneurs, investors and attorneys to gain insights into their needs and ideas. The approach included:
- Benchmarking peer universities across the nation, including Stanford, MIT, Michigan and Purdue.
- Comparing the technology commercialization processes at our state institutions.
- Collaborating with Ohio’s Research Officers Council to ensure alignment on guiding principles.
With this knowledge and under the leadership of Ohio State and the University of Cincinnati, the state’s universities aligned on the following guiding principles that serve as a foundation for the Ohio IP Promise.
- Flexible: providing industry choices for accessing intellectual property developed through sponsored research
- Transparent: publish template sponsored research and license agreements
- Simple: deliver fair and streamlined guidelines for faculty creator startups
- Clear: communicate licensing processes on university websites in a clear, prominent way
- Easy: provide well-defined university entry points for industry, investors, and entrepreneurs
- Fast: reduce impediments that hinder the pace of transactions
The Ohio IP Promise has unified Ohio’s public universities to provide a clear path for faculty and entrepreneurs interested in pursuing entrepreneurial and commercial ventures. The universities will prominently display on their technology transfer or research websites the following resources:
- Licensing options for industry-sponsored research agreements that are competitive and flexible
- Clearly defined options for industry reflecting different levels of IP rights from sponsored research
- Standard Option and License Agreement templates
- Simple and transparent guidelines and agreements for faculty creator startups
The Ohio IP Promise helps ensure that Ohio’s public universities are competitive when it comes to the transfer of university discoveries to the commercial sector and benefits all stakeholders in the entrepreneurial ecosystem.
- Faculty and researchers will understand the pathways to protect and commercialize their intellectual property through well-defined and clear information.
- Entrepreneurs will be able to create new companies around these innovations more efficiently through increased transparency in how Ohio’s universities conduct business.
- Investors will benefit from increased opportunities to invest in the high-quality innovations developed at Ohio’s public universities.
- Industry partners will have easier access and increased options for intellectual property developed through sponsored research, providing opportunities that drive economic impact and market growth using public university innovations.
Ohio public universities commit to further streamlining their processes, driving transparency and speed to support commercialization of Ohio innovations. With a focus on continuous improvement, universities will develop aligned metrics, annual measurement processes and establish common reporting mechanisms.
This initiative fosters a climate where innovation thrives through partnerships among universities, researchers, entrepreneurs, investors and industry. With improved collaboration, high-impact discoveries made at Ohio universities will go to market more quickly, boosting Ohio’s economy and improving its residents’ lives with new products and services.