Standardised agreements proposed to support commercialisation

AusBiotech seeks Member feedback on the proposed standardised commercialisation agreements outlined in the Department of Education, Skills and Employment’s sector-agnostic consultation paper seeking to incentivise and increase partnerships between companies and universities.

The Higher Education Research Commercialisation (HERC) IP Framework will “provide standardised IP licensing and contractual agreements to establish a strong foundation for negotiating and managing successful university-industry collaboration and partnerships.” IP includes rights such as patents, designs, trade marks, plant breeder’s rights and copyright, as well as trade secrets.

AusBiotech’s CEO Lorraine Chiroiu notes “AusBiotech remains strongly supportive of greater industry-university collaboration, however, the mechanisms in which we offer this needs to be considered in the broader innovation ecosystem, and co-supported with commercialisation skills development.

“Our previous submission into April 2021’s University Research Commercialisation consultation encouraged the development of a broader ‘commercialisation toolkit’, which included an IP toolkit to support efficiencies in reaching an agreement. However, these commercialisation agreements must be optional to best support researchers through the development process.

“Strong and effective partnerships between Australian universities and industry are the foundations for a robust biotechnology industry that works ‘hand in glove’ with Australia’s research sector. We are renown for ‘punching above our weight’ in biotech research, however, in order for local and multi-national companies to partner with Australia’s early-stage technologies, flexibility in mutual agreements must be retained in order to foster and encourage enduring collaboration-to-commercialisation partnerships.

“A lack of resources and a comprehensive understanding about the commercialisation process within many Australian universities has also contributed Australia’s commercialisation weakness and so AusBiotech recommends that the optional standardised agreements are paired with additional tech-transfer office resourcing to improve commercialisation performance and to deliver greater economic and social benefits.”

Download the Department’s consultation paper here.

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