The university aims at societal impact through optimal utilization of research results. Even if Aalto University makes decisions on the IP it owns, the inventors play a key role in IP creation and commercialization. The IP-generated net income to Aalto University after a possible research project is distributed to the inventors with a share to the University.
The current innovation protection and commercialization practices are in line with the principles accepted by the Board. The practices will be described and defined by university internal guidelines in a few months.
Further information: Head of Research and Innovation Services Mari Pietikäinen
See also: IP guide Inside page and IP guide news
Aalto University Principles for Commercialization of Intellectual Property
Aalto University’s vision carries a strong commitment to building a sustainable society driven by innovation and entrepreneurship. This document describes the principles by which the University commercializes intellectual property (IP) in its ownership. The primary aim in commercialization of intellectual property is to maximize the societal impact through optimal utilization of results produced in association with research, educational or other university activities. Aalto University aims at maximizing the impact of new knowledge created by the university activities while protecting faculty and student rights in the commercialization process. The University seeks mutually beneficial agreements that secure the IP use in future academic and educational activities and are in line with our open science policies. National legislation in Finland dictates that IP transactions are made at fair value (arms length price) to guarantee equal treatment of third parties. The University also considers ethical aspects to maximize benefits to the environment and the humankind as detailed in the Aalto University Code of Conduct.
Even if Aalto University makes decisions on the IP it owns, the inventors play a key role in IP creation and commercialization, and Aalto University research and innovation services work together with the inventors. The aim is to select the best third party for the IP commercialization. In the process, prior commitments (e.g. IP ownership), quality of the business plan (including market situation and financial plan) and risk management (e.g. economic or reputation) are assessed. The research and innovation services counsel the faculty in development of the innovation and setting up a new company. Aalto University offers its partner companies services, rent of premises and/or infrastructure at fair value.
There are several options for the IP commercialization. Most typically, ownership or license is transferred to an existing company as a result of commissioned research. Other options include licensing for a royalty fee or lump sum sale at a fair value to an existing company. IP can be assigned to a startup in exchange for company shares or percentage of annual business turnover. The University assumes no role in the formation of or in the management or control of the spinout companies. The IP-generated net income to Aalto University after a possible research project is distributed to the inventor(s) with a share to the University.
These principles and possible changes are approved by the Aalto University Board. Authorizations for contractual commitments related to the Aalto University innovation and commercialization activities are defined in the Aalto University Guidelines for Contract Approvals and Signing Rights.