Commercialisation

Commercialisation at Aarhus University

Excellent research can result in inventions which can benefit both you and society. Research results can lead to new products, new forms of research collaboration and sometimes to new businesses. The most important function of commercialisation is to ensure that new knowledge is exchanged, developed and put into production in order to ensure that research innovation benefits everyone in society and helps solve global challenges.

 

If you have produced an invention in connection with your research, you must report it to Technology Transfer Office (TTO), who will help you with the process.

What can you achieve?

When the process of commercialising an invention begins, contact is taken to relevant businesses or investors. Most often, this is done with a goal of licensing rights to the invention for commercial use.

Income to the university resulting from such agreements can benefit you financially, in the form of remuneration paid by the university to you. Read more about Aarhus University’s rules for calculating remuneration here.

But just as often, such dialogue results in new research partnerships with the company in question – so reporting an invention can also be an alternative method of acquiring research funding.

Another option chosen by some researchers is to start their own business. A spin out gives you the opportunity to develop your technology along with a team. In a spin out you will be a part of all Development phases regarding your invention.

But remember that any secondary employment must be approved by your department head.

Read about spin outs from Aarhus University here

Are you interested in starting your own business?

If you are considering starting your own business based on an invention or other research results, we recommend that you do so in connection with the commercialisation process. Talk to the business development team about your options, and let us help you explore the possibilities.

We can help you:

  • Make a business plan
  • Evaluate the potential of your business idea
  • Make contact to potential investors to assess the feasibility of your plan
  • Prepare a presentation for potential investors
  • Solve legal matters

Just remember that any secondary employment must be approved by your department head. And that your own commitment is crucial to your success!

Read about spin outs from Aarhus University here

Science for Society – read more about entrepreneurship activities here

Do you need an overview over the process?

Here is a step-by-step review of what happens when you report an invention:

  1. Your report is registered and dated. Immediately afterwards, you receive a letter confirming that your report has been received.
  2. Then you will be invited to a meeting with a business development consultant, a legal specialist and most likely a patent agent. The purpose of the meeting is to discuss aspects of the report, including patentability, ownership, inventorship, commercialisation as well as further research and development.
  3. No later than two months after the report is received, you are informed whether AU wishes to take over the rights to the invention and initiate the commercialisation process. In this context, it is important that:
    • The invention is patentable
    • That there is a need for the technology on the market
    • That there is a plan for further development
    • That there are people who are able to work on the invention in a research capacity.
  4. When the university takes over the invention, an active commercialisation process begins. This is most often done by patenting the invention to protect the university’s rights to it, as well as by engaging potential customers in an active dialogue in order to gauge the market’s level of interest in the particular invention. 
  5. The process can go into two directions during this stage. Either negotiations are iniated with interested companies, or a spin out is founded, where you will be in charge of further development of your invention.
  6. The last step in the process is the conclusion of an agreement, normally in the form of a licensing agreement to either the existing company or the new spin out company. The university remunerates the inventor after the overall costs of the process have been covered. Read more about Aarhus University’s rules for calculating remuneration here.

We don’t want to waste your time And so we regularly evaluate all projects in relation to the input we receive from the market and the results which are achieved. If feedback from the market indicates that your invention is not commercially viable, it may make sense to end the commercialisation process and continue the work as a pure research project. 

We recommend that you read the Inventor’s Guide to learn more.