University of Birmingham signs up to the Easy Access IP initiative

Posted on 29 Feb 2012

The University of Birmingham has announced that it will be part of the Easy Access Innovation Partnership, which promotes new ways of transferring intellectual property (IP) to industry.

Traditionally, the link between industry and higher education has been poor – with intellectual property often being sold to foreign-owned companies due to poor communication and lack of investment in R&D by British companies.

This new initiative aims to see universities play a significant role in supporting economic recovery and stimulating innovation, as the University of Birmingham follows cofounders King’s College London and the Universities of Glasgow and Bristol in committing to working with industry to maximise the transfer of knowledge for public benefit.

The University of Birmingham has stated that joining this initiative will make it easier for businesses to access its research. Through its technology transfer agency, Alta Innovations, the University will be providing some of its IP portfolio for free using simple, standard agreements to make the whole process of IP exploitation much faster.

As well as making the adoption of its research and technology simpler the University anticipates this will be a mechanism to encourage new and longer-term relationships with business and to open up new areas for collaboration.

Professor Adam Tickell, pro-vice-chancellor of research and knowledge transfer at the University of Birmingham, said: “We realise that a university may seem like a complicated partner for collaboration for some businesses. This initiative will enable businesses to access and adopt our IP very quickly.”

Professor Steve Beaumont, vice-principal for research and enterprise at the University of Glasgow, commented: “We are delighted that the University of Birmingham has adopted the Easy Access approach to their Intellectual Property. We look forward to working closely with them on this exciting project which is raising awareness of the vital role universities have in stimulating innovation.”