Turning Science into Business

Patenting and Licensing at Public Research Organisations

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This report presents the results of the first international survey on the patenting and licensing activities of public research organisations in OECD countries. It includes data on the stock and number of patents and licenses, the amount of licensing revenue, the size and activities of technology transfer offices, the types of licensing agreements concluded with firms, as well as information on the government and institutional policies for owning and exploiting intellectual property. In addition to the survey results, policy makers, business managers and university and research administrators will find several case studies on how OECD countries are moving to unlock the social and economic benefits of public research. These case studies will also provide insight into how research institutions deal with issues such as whether to license a patent or create a spin-off, how to create technology transfer programmes and how to license IP to firms while preserving access for future research and discovery.


Introduction and Overview

The romantic idea of innovation as the result of the creative efforts of an isolated, individual inventor who successfully puts a new product or process on the market is a thing of the past. Innovation is now generally accepted as the result of the work of various actors – public research organisations (PROs), firms, intermediary institutions, etc. – that jointly, and quite often in competition, interact, not only to create new knowledge but also to diffuse this knowledge and translate it into competitive goods, services and processes. In this so-called systemic notion of innovation, industry-science relations (ISRs) and the management of knowledge transfer between them are generally perceived as being at the heart of an innovation system...


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