Marks & Clerk leads debate on how to optimise technology transfer


Simon Portman, Managing Associate, M&C Solicitors, explains how to navigate the perils and pitfalls of the commercialisation process.


On 9 March, Simon Portman, Managing Associate at Marks & Clerk Solicitors LLP and head of the firm's Commercial Team, gave a talk on R&D collaborations at KnowledgeLondon's latest event "A-Z of Knowledge Transfer: Commercialising your Knowledge" held at South Bank University.

The event hosted a range of speakers and attendees from both academia and technology transfer offices from a range of universities in London and the South East, including Kings and Imperial. Simon gave attendees a summary of the main perils and pitfalls encountered during the drafting and negotiation of contracts for research projects and summarised the research grants on offer.

"The event presented an excellent opportunity to hear the experiences and case studies of a range of stakeholders, from academics trying commercialisation for the first time to seasoned tech transfer personnel," Simon reported.

"The talks were varied but the conclusions were all the same. In the ever more difficult struggle to secure funding, universities are going to have to be more imaginative and proactive in their commercialisation activities and think beyond the simple "licence or spinout?" models. At the same time, the opportunities are certainly out there and fruitful partnerships with industry can prove to be benefit teaching and research as well as the marketplace. Very few academics now dismiss technology transfer as a commercial sell-out."


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