New structures to create more jobs from Ireland’s ¤800million R&D budget
Government announces new Intellectual Property Protocol to make it easier to commercialise results of publicly-funded R&D
8 June 2012
The Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation Richard Bruton TD, together with the Minister for Research and Innovation Sean Sherlock TD, today [Friday] announced new structures to make it easier to commercialise and ultimately create jobs from ideas developed through publicly-funded research, which currently receives total funding of over ¤800million per year.
Today’s announcement represents the delivery of a key commitment in the Programme for Government and the Action Plan for Jobs 2012.
The new structures, which aim to encourage more businesses to commercialise R&D by ensuring that they can access the results of State-funded R&D with greater ease and certainty, include:
- A new Central Technology Transfer Office, to act as a one-stop shop for businesses seeking to use intellectual property deriving from publicly-funded research,
- Standardised intellectual property terms, which will facilitate easy-to-set-up agreements between businesses and researchers,
- Generous commercial terms to encourage businesses to engage with researchers, and to use the results of research to develop new products and services,
- Improved management of Intellectual Property.
Over the past ten years, Ireland has built up a substantial infrastructure, expertise and international reputation for scientific research and innovation. In 2003 Ireland was ranked 36th in the world for quality of scientific research output; in 2010 we were 20th. In 2000 our total spend on publicly-funded R&D was ¤290million; in 2010 it was ¤872 million.
The new Government committed in the Programme for Government and the Action Plan for Jobs to improve commercial outcomes from this activity, and actions taken over the past year to deliver on this include:
- the approval of legislation to extend the remit of Science Foundation Ireland (SFI) to include applied research, and
- the implementation of Research Prioritisation to ensure that publicly-funded research is aimed at areas with the greatest potential for commercialisation and job-creation.
Making the announcement today at NovaUCD, the UCD Innovation and Technology Transfer Office, Minister Bruton said: “A key part of the Government’s plan for jobs and growth is ensuring that we create more products, services and ultimately jobs from Ireland’s top quality scientific research system. The quality of our R&D is already a major part of the reason for the success of our multinational and indigenous companies – but we must do more.
“Today’s announcement marks a major evolution of the relationship between industry and publicly-funded research. It will create a world-class new system that will make it easier and faster for entrepreneurs and companies to negotiate a commercial arrangement with researchers. It will provide a significant improvement to Ireland’s international offering and encourage more companies to locate here. It will encourage more multinationals and indigenous companies to use the IP generated by Irish R&D to create products and services and ultimately create more jobs.
“I would like to commend all involved, in particular Jim Mountjoy who chaired the IP Implementation Group, on all their work to date”.
Minister Sherlock said: “Using the standardised terms in the new Protocol will support both industry parties and research performing organisations in making their commercial negotiations faster, more consistent and more transparent. A Central Technology Transfer Office (cTTO) will be established to act as a ‘one stop shop’ for industry engagement with the research system to find all research opportunities and IP that has been generated across the entire publicly funded research system.
“The policies set out in the IP Protocol will also support the building of relationships with industry that will support a sustainable flow of commercialisation activities and build networks of long-term knowledge sharing”.
Caption for Photographs:
Also present at the announcement in the UCD Technology Transfer Office, NovaUCD, was Dr Emmeline Hill of Equinome, a company which has developed out of the successful commercialisation of State-funded research.
In 2004, Dr Hill received an SFI award which supported a 5-year programme of work at UCD to investigate the genomics of performance in thoroughbred horses.
In 2009, this research led to the world’s first known identification of a gene contributing to a specific athletic trait in thoroughbred horses. This gene, called myostatin, was found to predict sprinting ability and stamina potential, which can immediately identify a thoroughbred as a potential sprinter, middle-distance or long-distance horse.
NovaUCD facilitated the identification, protection and management of the intellectual property (IP) arising from Dr Hill’s research.
NovaUCD also supported and assisted Dr Hill with the establishment and development of Equinome, a UCD spin-out company, to commercialise the IP arising from her research. NovaUCD also negotiated the transfer of this IP through licence agreements to the company. Using the results of the Equinome Elite Performance Test, thoroughbred horse owners and breeders can now increase their chances of successfully identifying those foals and yearlings most likely to perform at the elite level.
Equinome, which has now secured clients around the world including USA, Australia, New Zealand, Ireland, UK, France, Russia and Singapore, is currently headquartered at NovaUCD.
Pictured at the launch of the IP Protocol in NovaUCD, Minister Bruton said:
“Equinome is an excellent example of the successful commercialisation of the results of public research, and it now stands poised to develop into a world-class international company. Today’s announcement is about ensuring that the process which Equinome completed becomes quicker and easier, about ensuring that more businesses and more researchers engage in this process, and about ensuring that ultimately we create more jobs out of our world-class research”.
Dr. Emmeline Hill’s achievements on the cutting-edge of equine performance genomics represent an excellent example of a success story from State research funding. Using the results of the Equinome Elite Performance Test, thoroughbred horse owners and breeders can now increase their chances of successfully identifying those foals and yearlings most likely to perform at the elite level.Her research outputs have been patent protected and she has developed a spin out called Equinome, which has now secured clients around the world including USA, Australia, New Zealand, Ireland, UK, France, Russia and Singapore.
For further information, please contact:
Press Office, Department of Jobs, Enterprise and innovation, 01-6312200, firstname.lastname@example.org
About the IP Protocol:
The Protocol has been developed by the Department of Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation working with other Government Departments and informed by a dedicated group of experts from industry, the VC community, Technology Transfer Offices, Research Performing Organisations, the IUA and the State research funders. An independent legal review of the protocol was also undertaken.
The Protocol deals primarily with collaborative research, where industry and Research Performing Organisations work together and, in particular, where industry and the State share the cost of the research. It also deals with industry access to the results of research that is 100% State funded; and contract research where industry pays the full cost of the research it commissions.
It applies equally to all forms of research and development activity, from pure and applied research through to incremental and near-market development.
The Protocol will continue to evolve to ensure that it delivers on its objectives and is aligned with the objectives of the State in respect of its research funding.
Key Features of the new approach include:
- A central Technology Transfer Office (cTTO), which will act as a ‘one stop shop’ for industry engagement with the research system to find all research opportunities and IP that has been generated across the entire publicly funded research system. The cTTO will be hosted by Enterprise Ireland, the post of CEO for the cTTO will be advertised publicly shortly and the person appointed will be based in EI offices in East Point. Technology Transfer Offices currently exist in 10 Higher Education Institutions – including NovaUCD. The cTTO will work closely with existing Technology Transfer Offices, sharing good practice and ensuring consistency between different elements of the technology transfer system and a consistent adoption and interpretation of national IP Policy by all stakeholders. Existing Technology Transfer Offices will retain the freedom to do a deal that works best for both parties
- Commercial agreements with RPOs are quick and easy to set up, through the use of standardised IP terms around IP ownership, access and publication.This helps industry parties know what arrangements to expect up front, right from the start. However, these policies and structures are not rigid: every case is different, and every industry party has different needs, so there is flexibility to adapt these terms.
- Commercial terms are generous. The protocol also sets outgenerous commercial terms to encourage industry to engage with the public research system.
- IP is managed in a professional way. The Protocol sets out a series of steps for the introduction of processes to ensure IP is professionally managed throughout the public research sector, building on the current good practice that exists in many of Ireland’s Research Performing Organisations (RPOs). These enhanced IP management practices will help ensure that State supported IP has optimum commercial value and will assist in “fast-tracking” the due diligence process for industry.
- IP Policy will be flexible and responsive to the needs of stakeholders. The national IP policy and guidelines set out in the Protocol will be progressively improved to take into account the experience gained from commercialisation activities.
Membership of Intellectual Property Groups
IP Implementation Group
Chair:Dr Jim Mountjoy, Founder of Euristix, Member of Science Foundation Ireland Board
Dr Jeanne Bolger, Vice-President of Alliance Management and General Manager, Janssen AI, a Johnson & Johnson company
Damien Callaghan, Member of Innovation Taskforce, Investment Director, Intel Capital
Brendan Cremen, Director of Enterprise and Commercialisation, University College Dublin
Karl Flannery,MD, Storm Technology Limited
Paul Kavanagh, Director, Kinometrics
Barry Kennedy, Research Program Manager, Intel
Tara Mac Mahon, Intel Ireland Ltd
Dr Daniel O’Mahony, Partner, Seroba Kernel Life Sciences
Dr Ena Prosser, Partner, Fountain Healthcare Partners
John Scanlan, Director, Technology Transfer Office, NUI Maynooth
Professor Terry Smith, Vice-President for Research, NUI Galway
Richard Stokes, CEO, Invent (Technology Transfer Office, DCU)
Tara Mac Mahon was seconded to IPIG on a full-time basis from August 2010 to August 2011, when she stepped down to join Intel Ireland Limited. While on secondment, her main role involved researching international trends and preparing reference documents for IPIG’s consideration.
Secretariat to IP Implementation Group:Cepta Duffy,Enterprise Ireland
Forfás, supported by Arthur D Little, were appointed as facilitators to the process in August 2011,to produce this single document which reflects the deliberations of both IP Groups.
Legal advice on this document was obtained from independent lawyers.
IP Policy Group
Chair:Martin Shanagher, Assistant Secretary, DJEI, Chair of Interdepartmental Committee on Science, Technology and Innovation
Dr Pamela Byrne, Research, Food & Codex Division, Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine
Ned Costello, Chief Executive, Irish Universities Association
Dr Lucy Cusack, Forfas
Dr Paul Dodd,, Science Foundation Ireland (to May 2012)
Dr Ruth Freeman,Director, Enterprise & International Affairs, Science Foundation Ireland
Dr Barry Heavey,Vice President, Technology Marketing, Lifesciences, IDA Ireland
Dave Hanley, Principal, Communications (Development) Division, Department of Communications, Energy and Natural Resources
Dr Maura Hiney, Head of Policy, Evaluation and External relations Unit, Health Research Board
Karen Hynes, Manager, Innovation Policy Department, Forfas
Dr Eucharia Meehan, Head of Research Programmes and Capital Programmes, Higher Education Authority
Feargal O’Morain, Director of Research, Innovation and Commercialisation, Enterprise Ireland (to March 2012).
Last modified: 08/06/2012