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New U plan aims to attract research partners

The University of Minnesota in December launched an initiative aimed at making it easier for businesses to partner with the institution on research projects.

Under the new Minnesota Innovation Partnerships (MN-IP) program, companies that sponsor research at the University will be able to prepay a fee and receive a worldwide patent on the intellectual property. Royalties to the University would kick in only if the intellectual property generates annual sales of more than $20 million, and the royalty fee would total 1 percent of sales.

To land an exclusive license, a business would pay a fee equal to 10 percent of the cost of the research contract, or $15,000, whichever is greater.

University leaders expect the new approach to eliminate the complicated research contracts and protracted negotiations that are common features of industry-sponsored research at highereducation institutions.

“We believe that MN-IP will result in a wide range of positive effects on our relationships with industry research sponsors,” says the University’s vice president for research, Tim Mulcahy. “Companies will have a stronger incentive to commercialize technology resulting from University research. And consumers will benefit as these innovations are developed and ultimately make their way to the marketplace.”

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