Iowa State University, University of Iowa offering exclusive research sponsorship option

Companies will be allowed to prenegotiate a license at fixed rates

When companies have wanted to work with university researchers to help them compete in a global marketplace, a significant barrier often has been traditional licensing agreements.

Iowa State University and the University of Iowa on Wednesday announced a new research sponsorship option that will enable businesses to negotiate exclusive licenses for breakthrough developments that grow out of partnerships with researchers.

The new sponsored funding option will allow companies to prenegotiate a license at fixed rates for any inventions or software arising from a project the company sponsors. The sponsor will pay the full cost of the research plus a small option fee to obtain worldwide rights to the innovation, as well as the right to sublicense it.

ISU and UI believe the new option provides a cost-effective way for companies to reap the benefits of discovery by enabling them to secure rights to the technology for competitive advantage. The universities hope the new arrangement will increase partnerships with industry by giving companies more tools to protect their research investments.

ISU and UI worked together to develop the new intellectual property option to offer consistent and unified terms to businesses interested in investing in university research.

"We want to move our research into the market as quickly and easily as possible," said UI President Sally Mason. "We want to partner with Iowa companies, so they can benefit from the technologies discovered at the University of Iowa and help stimulate economic activity."

Daniel Reed, UI vice president for research and economic development, said competing in the 21st century will require universities to be more nimble in building relationships with industry.

"Streamlining the pipeline that carries university technologies to market is one strategy we are employing to build these critical relationships," Reed said.

David Oliver, ISU interim vice president for research and economic development, said industry sponsors want to make sure that licensing contracts are structured correctly.

"With this new contract option, we hope to attract more industry partners to increase our number of sponsored research agreements, extend our research discoveries and make a positive impact on Iowa’s economy," Oliver said.More information about research licensing options is available on the web at dsp.research, and at

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