U-I Relationship Models: University of Minnesota

The University of Minnesota and its Office of Technology Commercialization has their act together when it comes to leading the way on new tactics and initiatives to encourage industrial research agreements and intellectual property partnerships; but, please don’t just take my word for it! According to the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy ,“MN-IP [a University of Minnesota initiative]…promises to help foster university-industry partnerships and strengthen America’s economic competitiveness.”.

MN-IP is just one of the creative initiatives that will be covered in detail in an upcoming innovosource web-workshop. Based on our investigation of the University of Minnesota operation, we have identified two programs that are already yielding results:

  • Minnesota Innovation Partnerships (MN-IP):  Through the MN-IP program, the University of Minnesota offers a set of options for companies seeking to support research and license intellectual property. This flexibility in terms lowers the barriers to initiate new relationships and builds goodwill with industry partners. Recently, the Office of Technology Commercialization has launched a “Try and Buy” approach that offers companies a test-run of the technology prior to licensing negotiations
  • Online Express Licensing : Online system to search and license from a repository of available technologies. Terms are clear and interested parties can literally purchase access to enabling technology through the website

On opening up the University to industrial partnerships through programs like these, Brian Herman, VP for Research, says “”When industry collaborates with the university and is allowed access to technology developed by top scientists and inventors with favorable and streamlined processes, it opens a door to significant possibilities for economic growth and an ability to bring more ground-breaking discoveries to market. We want our industry partners to know the university is open for business, and we want to make it easy for them to work with us. This unique approach to working with our partners, we hope, will boost our economy and advance research.”

And apparently industry is recognizing the value of working with the University of Minnesota. A recent partner at Bayer Material Science said, ““Intellectual property issues are frequently cited as a barrier to industry-university collaborative development and commercialization of new technology. I believe the new approaches toward IP licensing that the University of Minnesota is taking represent a step toward fostering greater industry-university collaboration by significantly reducing or eliminating those IP issues.”



Join us on April 2nd: If you want to learn specifics about the University of Minnesota programs, please join us for the discussion via the University-Industry Model Review II web-workshop: please learn more here and join us for the event.

Showcase your U-I program: If you program would like to be added to these spotlights and showcased in future articles or if you are a institution or stakeholder interested in these approaches, please make yourself known here

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