Inception meeting of steering group for feasibility study into establishment of an all-island Intellectual Property and Technology Transfer service (with Conference of Heads of Irish Universities and InterTradeIreland) – study to be carried out by Technol

Inception Meeting
1 July 2005
InterTradeIreland, Newry

Attendees:
Marion McAneney – InterTradeIreland
Trevor Newsom – Queens University Belfast
Tony Glynn – Dublin City University
Andy Pollak – Universities Ireland
Conor O’Carroll – C.H.I.U.
Gillian McFadzean – TRS
Mike Cox – TRS Antonia White – True North Innovation

Apologies:
Aidan Gough – InterTradeIreland
Eugene Kennedy – Dublin City University
Bernie Hannigan – University of Ulster

1. Introductions & Background

  • MMA provided the background, including how Universities Ireland had approved the recommendation for a feasibility study and InterTradeIreland are commissioning this study in conjunction with C.H.I.U. and Universities Ireland.
  • Since InterTradeIreland is the contracting body, it was agreed that all communications would be via InterTradeIreland.

2. Definitions

  • It was agreed that for the purposes of the study, the broad definition of Technology Transfer will be employed. The basic parameter should be knowledge and technology transfer that has, as its goal, a commercial gain:
  • Licensing – Joint ventures
  • Company creation – IP Protection & management
  • Consultancy

3. Engagement with Practitioners

  • It was agreed that the following practitioners within the university sector should be consulted:
  • Contract management staff
  • Marketing/Market research staff
  • Science park management (where involves university IP/spin outs/university employees)
  • New company formation/support
  • Licensing
  • Business Development
  • Intellectual Property Management
  • Strategic Alliances/Joint Ventures (including external alliances e.g. Venture Capitalists)

4. Project Deliverables

  • It was agreed that this study would focus solely on the university sector.
  • It was also agreed that the option of establishing a centralised IP and technology transfer facility would be removed from the study.
  • A register of technology transfer expertise (which would be open to all of the nine technology transfer offices) was discussed. While the study will provide a map of the expertise, what each institution then does with the information is their decision.
  • In terms of comparator models, the study will look at case studies appropriate to the island.
  • The study will also investigate accessing external expertise on to fill gaps.

5. Potential for Collaboration

  • The possibility of shared appointments across institutions was discussed. TN noted that this has already happened for UU & QUB.
  • There is already university collaboration through SFI funding and also the HEA-managed cross-border funding programme.
  • There has also been collaboration in certain areas as a precursor to the US-Ireland R&D Partnership. TN noted that collaboration would enable the presentation of a joint front to e.g. USA , which could then develop into practical links.
  • It was discussed that given the need to improve exploitation of IP, there were opportunities for shared services within technology bundling, joint marketing and shared access to services.

6. Stakeholders

  • The following university stakeholders were identified as important contributors to the study:
  • Industrial Liaison Officers
  • Vice President for Research/Dean of Research
  • University company staff (e.g. QUBIS, UUTECH)
  • A number of external stakeholders were identified to supplement the original list supplied:
  • Science Foundation Ireland – Higher Education Authority
  • Dept for Employment & Learning – IBEC-CBI Joint Business Council
  • Health Research Board – Chief Scientific Officer
  • North South Roundtable Group – DARD

7. Methodology

  • It was agreed that introductory letters would be sent to the universities and external stakeholders from InterTradeIreland. Action: TRS & ITI
  • An electronic survey will be used to collect information on current provision, trends, collaborative activity etc from the universities. The survey will be circulated to the ILO and copied to the VP for Research in order to facilitate one response per institution.
  • It was also agreed that a meeting between the consultants and the ILOs would take place on 21 st July. This will be held in the C.H.I.U. offices in Dublin at 10.30am and will take the form of a half day workshop. The purpose will be for the consultants to introduce the study, present the questionnaire, collect institutional information and gain commitment for the study. Action: TRS, ITI & CHIU
  • The academic survey will take place during August. The interviews (telephone and face-to-face) with external stakeholders will take place during August and September. It is envisaged that a further workshop will be held in C.H.I.U. offices during 21 st & 22 nd September. At this stage the initial analysis of survey results will be available and the workshop will also allow the consultants to tease out qualitative issues. There will be wider attendance and the workshop will allow for breakout sessions to cover particular aspects such as IP protection etc.
  • A further Steering Group meeting will take place in October, with the final report being available by the end of the year.