Reporter 457, 23 October 2000

Commercial agenda under spotlight

The University’s commitment to the commercialisation of intellectual property and know-how generated through our research, and to sharing the benefits with staff who develop the ideas, will be emphasised at a seminar on October 30.

The event will provide a comprehensive guide to the processes involved and the opportunities available. It will be introduced by the Vice-Chancellor, who will outline the University’s approach to knowledge transfer. Chris Taylor, Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Research, will explain the appraisal system.

An Opportunities Appraisal Group has been created to help commercialise the output of research, teaching and services, and advise staff on using the resources at Leeds – generally regarded as having one of the country’s best university infrastructures for commercialisation or ‘third arm’ activities.

The University’s technology transfer company – which is relaunching with a new corporate brand as Leeds Innovations – will outline its role. Presentations will cover the Forward Group’s £20m innovation fund, exclusive to the University, and the £6m White Rose Technology Seedcorn Fund, which invests in innovation in its early stages at Yorkshire’s top three universities.

Professor Jim Lynch, director of the Institute for Corporate Learning in the Business School, will discuss the University’s interface with business and how to build useful business contacts and networks.

Leeds Innovations, the first point of contact for academics seeking advice on the commercial development of research, now has five full-time business managers to liaise with academic staff to identify and develop viable ideas.

Vice-Chancellor Alan Wilson said: "Attitudes to technology transfer are changing rapidly. We are committed to maintaining the University’s position at the forefront of research exploitation."

The seminar is hosted by the Staff and Departmental Development Unit. Details are available from Mette Sylva at Leeds Innovations, on 243 5789.

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