AU is consolidating its commercialisation advisory services

Researchers at Aarhus University can now find all the information they need under one roof when looking to transform their research results into a business. From now on, all guidance on commercialisation and intellectual property rights will be provided by The Kitchen, AU’s entrepreneurship hub in the University City. The Technology Transfer Office will continue to advise on research collaboration with external parties.

Entrance to The Kitchen, AU's startup hub in the University City and now home to all the university's activities within commercialization
Advisory services on commercialisation and intellectual property rights will now be based in The Kitchen in the University City. Researchers should continue to contact AU’s Technology Transfer Office at Navitas for legal advice on research collaboration. Photo: Tania Nørgaard

A new strategy for intellectual property and commercialisation is being drawn up

In order to ensure that Aarhus University has a clear business profile, the Business Committee has been assigned the task of developing a new strategy for intellectual property rights and commercialisation. The strategy is expected to be completed in 2024.

Relevant members of staff at the faculties and AU Research as well as relevant external stakeholders will be consulted as part of this process.

From now on, AU’s entrepreneurship hub The Kitchen will provide all the advisory services and support required for researchers at Aarhus University to commercialise their research results and develop a business. Before now, researchers had to go to two separate locations to get the full range of support required to make this commercial transition. Advice on patents and intellectual property was provided by the Technology Transfer Office (TTO) at Navitas, while advice on developing specific products and businesses was offered by The Kitchen.

All advisory services on commercialisation and intellectual property rights will now be available at The Kitchen, which is a part of Enterprise and Innovation. This will ensure coherence, coordination and knowledge-sharing in the area of business development at AU, and it will mean that researchers only need to contact one place to access all the expertise and resources required to help transform their research into commercial solutions and potential patents.

What this means in practice is that the Commercialisation and Intellectual Property team will move from the TTO to The Kitchen. The team consists of 12 members of staff, including the team leader, and is supported by two student assistants.

Legal advice on research collaboration will still be provided by AU’s TTO

The TTO will continue to provide legal advice to researchers at AU in connection with establishing research collaborations and agreements with other universities, public organisations and companies – including research that can result in new inventions or software. It will also help with research and development related to existing inventions or software.

The TTO is a unit under AU Research and consists of 28 lawyers and nine student assistants, who advise all five of the university’s faculties. This unit will continue to focus on legal tasks related to research and development collaborations with external parties. It will also continue to offer expert advice on GDPR and to negotiate GDPR agreements connected to research collaboration agreements.

The Kitchen and the TTO will work closely together to offer researchers targeted and flexible support and will continue to focus on coordination between the two units. 

Facts about the tasks of each unit

Tasks that relate to research and development collaborations with external parties will still be handled by the TTO as part of AU Research, while tasks that concern the commercialisation of inventions will be handled by The Kitchen as part of AU Enterprise and Innovation.

Below is a list of the specific tasks that will be carried out by each unit as of 1 August 2023.

TTO tasks

The Kitchen tasks

Drawing up contracts for all types of research projects and research collaboration Tasks that relate to the commercialisation of research
Negotiating collaboration agreements Legal tasks as part of the commercialisation process
Securing the legal framework for the university's research collaboration with external parties Securing the legal framework for the university's commercialisation of specific research results
Providing guidance and support for GDPR issues related to research collaboration agreements