If your research has commercial relevance or potential, they may be relevant to companies. The business developers at SDU RIO support you in the further development and maturation of your invention, assure you the proper assessment of the invention, and advise you in the further patenting process.
We have outlined the process below. It is important to point out that the process can vary from project to project.
Typical steps in the commercialisation process
Step 1: Research – when is it an invention?
When your observations and experiments lead to discoveries and inventions. An invention is any useful process, machine, composition of materials or any new or improvement version of the same, which is useful in industry.
Step 2: Reporting your research
If you become aware that your research may have commercial value, please contact us. When you report your research to us, it is the beginning of the formal commercialisation process when we register your report with today’s date. The information you submit to us remains in a confidential document. The more information our business development advisers receive about your research, the better we can assess the commercialisation opportunities.
Step 3: Assessment
Based on your information, we assess the invention and analyse the patent landscape, market and existing technologies. We talk to you about your research plans and your own view of the potential and how you want to be involved in any commercialisation process. All to determine the commercial potential.
Within two months of receiving your report, SDU - based on an assessment by the business development advisers at SDU RIO - must decide whether they wish to take over the rights to the invention and begin a commercialisation process.
We have no desire to waste your time. If we consider that your research does not have commercial potential, it does not make sense to continue the commercialisation process.
Step 4: Protection
If the SDU wishes to take over the rights, we start the process of securing the intellectual property rights (IPR) to the invention. The purpose of the process is mainly to generate the legal rights or assets that can be transferred to a third party for commercialisation.
Protection can be in the form of a patent application, design protection or copyright for the source code.
Step 5: Maturation
Your invention is probably not ready to be marketed when you are ready to publish it. Almost all inventions undergo a maturation and validation period before they are usable in industry or there is basis for a spin-out.
We support you in the process - this can be in the form of funds/resources for development work or in the form of contact with key individuals or investors.
This phase is most often the most complex and longest in the entire commercialisation process.
Step 6: Marketing
We develop marketing materials and unveil you and your research results through a variety of channels to get in touch with companies or investors who have the expertise, resources and networks to get your invention onto the market. It can either involve a partnership with an existing company or the formation of a spin-out.
Step 7: Spin-out / Collaboration with a company
There are two main ways to commercialise your invention - establishing a spin-out or collaborating with an existing company.
If we consider that a spin-out is the best way to commercialise your invention, we make contact with investors and possibly professional contractors or mentors who can help. We use Science Ventures Danmark A/S (SVD), which is wholly owned by SDU to manage corporate formation and possibly ownership of shares in the spin-out company if applicable.
We recommend that you obtain independent legal and financial advice if we come to the conclusion that a new company must be founded, of which you must be a co-owner.
Collaboration with a company
We establish a collaboration with a company that has the skills, finances and network to get your invention on the market. This is typically achieved through a licence agreement and possibly a cooperation agreement regarding further joint research and development.
The licence agreement ensures that companies are committed to getting the invention on the marketyou can still use the invention for research and teachingSDU/RSD receives payment for utilisation of the rights.
Step 8: Licence
A licence agreement is an agreement between SDU and the company. Fundamentally, the licence agreement describes the rights and responsibilities of the parties.
The licence agreement ensures that the company is obliged to get the invention on the market, that you can continue to use the invention for research and teaching and that the SDU/RSD receives payment for utilising the rights.
The initial income from the licence holder is used to reimburse expenses in connection with the licence in connected with commercialising the invention - such as patenting and costs.
Further income (net) is distributed between the parties as follows:
- 1/3 to the researcher(s)
- 1/3 to the researcher's department
- 1/3 to SDU/RSD
The researcher’s role during the commercialisation process
As a researcher, your role in the process can vary - depending on your interests and involvement, but also on the licensee's interest in utilising your skills.
Many continue to develop research to improve technology, reduce risk, prove reliability and meet market demands for customer treatment. This may involve additional testing, benchmark tests to demonstrate the benefits of the product/research and place the product on the market, prototypes for manufacturing, durability and integrity, as well as training, installation and marketing documentation.