The principles for commercialisation of research results
The Aalto University Board approved at its meeting on 20 September 2017 the principles for commercialisation of intellectual property. The university aims at societal impact through optimal utilisation of research results. Even if Aalto University makes decisions on the IP it owns, the inventors play a key role in IP creation and commercialisation. 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 commercialisation practices are in line with the principles accepted by the Board.
Aalto University Principles for Commercialisation 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 commercialises intellectual property (IP) in its ownership. The primary aim in commercialisation of intellectual property is to maximise the societal impact through optimal utilisation of results produced in association with research, educational or other university activities. Aalto University aims at maximising the impact of new knowledge created by the university activities while protecting faculty and student rights in the commercialisation 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 maximise benefits to the environment and 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 commercialisation, 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 IP commercialisation. 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 or in the management or control of 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. Authorisations for contractual commitments related to Aalto University innovation and commercialisation activities are defined in the Aalto University Guidelines for Contract Approvals and Signing Rights.