Offices of Biotechnology and Business Development

Industrial Relations Policy for Sponsored Research

 

The college is interested in promoting industry-sponsored research on its campus and the commercial development of products derived from its research activities. The requirements are straightforward and fair-minded, and involve the following subject matter:

(1) Forming Constructive Relationships 

Philosophically, we believe that cooperation with industry can facilitate the development of products that will fill vital social needs and consequently be commercially successful as well. We believe that such relationships are constructive when they are considered as partnerships that use the combined resources and efforts of the college and industry in productive research activities.

(2) Faculty’s Interest in Research and Reward for Successful Inventions 

All such research must be consistent with the research interests of our faculty, as determined by the individual faculty members involved.  The welfare of our faculty members is a major concern and all industrial-sponsored research agreements must derive from the research interests of the faculty involved. Toward this end, we have instituted a Patent Policy that is designed to reward the faculty members participating in the project. One-third of net royalty income received from the industry, as well as licensing fees, maintenance payments and related income, is given directly to the involved faculty member and one-third is credited to his or her laboratory to support additional research. There is no limiting cap and the faculty member's earnings are limited only by the value of the product. The final third is retained by the college for support of its academic activities.

 (3) Protecting Publication Rights 

As an educational institution we have a primary responsibility to publish the results of our research and we cannot commit ourselves to any secrecy clauses. We are perfectly willing to hold secret any information that we receive from a sponsor in confidence. We are aware that the product of our research might be patentable and it is to the advantage of the college, its faculty members, the commercial sponsor and society as a whole if the effective commercialization of patents can be obtained. Therefore, we are willing to provide for a reasonable period in which an industrial sponsor can examine manuscripts prior to publication to determine whether a patent is desired and, if such a determination is made, provide for an additional period of time for the effective filing of such a patent.

(4) Recovering Overhead Costs 

The college is a private organization and, like a sponsoring company, must conduct its affairs in a prudent manner if it is to survive. Accordingly, it is essential that we recover the overhead costs that are an intrinsic part of any research project. The Indirect Cost Administrative Policy of the college is to apply the same overhead charge to industry-sponsored research as to research sponsored by the National Institutes of Health (NIH). This is fair to all concerned because this overhead figure is arrived at by independent audits conducted by the NIH. Thus it is an actual representation of the real costs. To adjust this overhead charge for non-NIH-sponsored research would be fiscally imprudent and a disservice to those investigators who are competing in the difficult NIH environment.

We have successfully concluded agreements with leading biotechnology and pharmaceutical companies and are pleased that these are proceeding in a manner that is highly satisfactory to both the sponsor and the investigators. We believe that for any relationship to be productive, it must be fair to all parties involved, and that is the spirit in which we negotiate our agreements.

 

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