The University of Glasgow is now allowing the majority of its intellectual property to be reused by individuals and businesses through the formation of a new website.
Easy Access IP — the university's new intellectual property portal — holds a database of the technical scientific and medical IP created by the university, which can now be freely accessed for use in both non-commercial and commercial projects.
The university expects the move to prove particularly attractive for small and medium-sized businesses.
"Technology licensing in the UK can sometimes be a laborious process which can inhibit the sharing of IP between universities and businesses. [Glasgow University's] Easy Access IP initiative will make it easier for companies to make use of innovative research and technology for the benefit of all. [It] will help build better and lasting relationships between research and enterprise," Iain Gray, chief executive of the Technology Strategy Board, said in a statement.
However, according to the launch announcement not all of the university's IP will be offered freely. Instead, a "small proportion" of high-value University of Glasgow IP will be made available to industry through traditional licensing agreements and spin-out companies.
"One of the core missions of the University is the creation, advancement and sharing of knowledge and we aim to transfer as much IP into commercial use as we can, to the benefit of our partners, the community and the economy," a spokesperson said in the statement.
The first transfer under the Easy Access IP initiative will involve optical tweezer technology developed by the university. Hertfordshire-based Elliot Scientific — producers of high-quality scientific equipment — will be granted access to the university's research on the subject.
"My belief is that as academics we have an obligation to promote transfer of our technology into the real world. We are privileged to be publicly funded to pursue jobs we enjoy and this is one way in which we can repay. Of course some aspects of knowledge only have value if protected by patents and other legal frameworks but, in my view, the majority of our ideas are best served just by getting them out there," Miles Padgett, professor of physics at the University of Glasgow, said.