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Curtin supports focus on joint Intellectual Property agreement

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Curtin University’s IP Commercialisation office has joined with fellow Australian Technology Network (ATN) universities to encourage greater commercialisation of university research and collaboration between industry partners and researchers via streamlined access to Curtin generated Intellectual Property (IP).

Together with QUT, University of Technology Sydney, RMIT University and University of South Australia, who form the Australian Technology Network of Universities (ATN), Curtin has committed to a set of Intellectual Property (IP) principles to maximise the impact of innovative research.

Curtin’s Director of IP Commercialisation, Mr Rohan McDougall, said the Curtin Commercialisation office works with Curtin researchers who develop novel concepts or inventions to assess the commercial viability and determine the best method of bringing it to market.

“The IP Commercialisation office has facilitated many industry collaborations and has been actively involved in the establishment of 20 spinout companies based on intellectual property developed by Curtin researchers,” Mr McDougall said.

“These companies are rapidly growing and employ over 100 people in new economy jobs and generate revenues in excess of $15 million per annum.

“Curtin also encourages other flexible forms of commercialisation and actively uses licensing and assignment of IP to bring about utilisation and commercialisation of the outcomes of research that have often been achieved in collaboration with our industry partners.”

Curtin University Vice-Chancellor Professor Deborah Terry AO said Curtin was pleased to support the initiative which aligns with the Government’s National Innovation and Science Agenda.

“Curtin is widely recognised for its achievements in applied research that is firmly focused on solving real-world problems,” Professor Terry said.

“This national agreement to use shared IP principles supports our strong partnerships with industry, business and government, which can result in outcomes that greatly benefit the broader community locally, nationally and globally.”

The ATN universities’ approach to managing intellectual property is based on the following principles:

1. We actively encourage students and staff to undertake research that is relevant to challenges faced by society and in partnership with industry, government and community groups.

2. As guided by our industry partners, we encourage them to own and take the lead in commercialisation of intellectual property generated from industry funded research when they are best placed to do so.

3. Where access to university owned or jointly owned IP is necessary or beneficial for commercialisation we support access to the IP based on fair and equitable terms, in a timely manner.

4. Our interactions with industry will be governed by a transparent, flexible and user-friendly system that supports and encourages engagement using a range of IP models.

5. Each university will make public our Intellectual Property Policies and Standard Commercial Agreement templates, to provide a simple and transparent framework.

6. We actively encourage and promote an entrepreneurial culture for our staff and students. This includes a system of support to facilitate the creation of new ventures where our staff and students are appropriately involved.

7. All partnerships and resultant commercial agreements will be developed and negotiated in a prompt manner and in keeping with these core principles.

The ATN IP principles were launched on April 7, 2016 by Minister for Education and Training, Simon Birmingham. For more information on the IP principles, visit

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