Commercialisation for researchers
The commercialisation team works with researchers to provide guidance, practical advice and various forms of translational support to protect and transform research into new commercial opportunities.
The information and links below provide an introduction to commercialisation and how we work. Please feel free to contact us directly to discuss your project further.
Identifying a potential commercialisation opportunity
Moving beyond the lab, engaging potential markets and commercial partners
Shape, negotiate and execute on commercial agreements and spin-out companies, providing ongoing support to achieve real world impact.
- This process requires time, commitment and teamwork.
- The different forms of intellectual property
- Guide to patents and patentability (PDF, 163kB)
- The patent process and timeline (PDF, 223kB)
- Guide to inventorship (PDF, 566kB)
- UK IPO training tools
- IP agreements, a Guide for Collaboration and Knowledge Exchange (PDF, 174kB)
- What makes a good commercial project? (PDF, 533kB)
- Choosing a route to commercialisation (PDF, 529kB)
- Open Source Software Licensing (PDF, 248kB)
- Policy on spin out company formation (PDF, 305kB)
- Starting a company, a quick guide for researchers (PDF, 238kB)
- Revenue sharing scheme.
- Consultancy work: University policy
- Student Basecamp
- New Enterprise Competition overview (log in to MyCareer required)
- Export Control policy
Relevant information will be recorded on a secure database for the purpose of managing commercialisation activity and in line with GDPR it is only held for as long as is needed.
Time and commitment to:
- Help us to understand the significance of your research and how it can be applied to solve real-world problems, in order to identify the commercial opportunity.
- Work with our team to talk to commercial partners and understand their requirements (both technical and commercial), in order to successfully translate the research for real-world application.
- Carry out technical development of the opportunity, often in parallel with the commercial work, and planning so that you can carry out the testing or development required to reach proof of concept or a stage where a commercial partner is able to see the value of creating a product or service from the research. Building a demo is often useful.
- Provide technical input to the patent process if applicable: If a patent application is considered commercially necessary and there may be a patentable invention and the development is relatively advanced, then the University may approve filing a patent application. Technical support is then required from the initial drafting of the patent specification and on occasion throughout the examination process as exam reports are received. Note that the patent process is complicated, applications are not always approved and will be dropped at various milestones if it is not clear that a patent is likely to be granted or required. Please talk to us so that we can explain further how this works.
Successful research commercialisation depends on the ability to work well with others, to understand different points of view and to adapt as new information becomes available. It is important to recognise and respect that commercial and legal (patent and contractual) priorities can be quite different to those you might be used to, and we are happy to talk through the different processes so that you are able to appreciate why things work the way they do. As the project progresses, good teamwork can significantly improve the chances of successful commercialisation, as we work together for the best outcome of the project.
Engaging with research commercialisation can be rewarding: many academics find the insights both interesting and informative for their ongoing research interests. Working towards research commercialisation provides the potential for developing significant real-world impact, as well as a case study for the Research Excellence Framework process. For some researchers, it also assists in future career choices.