Memorandum of Understanding
between Science Capital and University
Note: this is provided as an example, please let us know if we can meet with a representative of your institution to prepare a custom agreement that meets your needs.
This Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) establishes a cooperative relationship between the Science Capital (SciCap) and University (Uni). Under this MOU, SciCap and Uni will endeavour to establish mutually beneficial links between scientists and businesses in the region, with the aim of enhancing commercial exploitation of ideas and inventions developed in the West Midlands region and development of the West Midlands’ economy.
2.1. Science Capital (SciCap) was established in March 2010 in order to provide a focus for those who are interested or engaged in the creation, development and commercial exploitation of innovative science and technology being developed in the West Midlands. As a company limited by guarantee which is supported by Birmingham City Council, SciCap's objectives include facilitating and promoting the commercialisation of innovative science and technology by working with existing structures including academic institutions and their technology transfer offices (TTOs).
2.1.1. SciCap will offer engaging seminars by leading scientists from the West Midlands who will present their innovative ideas and technologies in central Birmingham. The focus will be on major themes for the region’s economic development as outlined in Birmingham Science City’s Strategic Framework. The speakers will be drawn from the diversity of universities, research centres and innovative companies in the region. Events will attract a mixture of participants including company executives, business experts, financial advisors, investors and policy developers.
2.1.2. The speakers will respond to the audience’s questions and may explore commercialization and investment strategies. The scientists, company executives, business experts, financial advisors and investors will be free to network informally, discuss possible interactions and to share contact information. Representatives of the TTO will be invited to participate in the events and to promote their services, expertise and facilities at the events and on the SciCap website. Participants will be advised that the TTO is the first point of contact for Uni employees who are seeking to commercialize intellectual property. Together this will foster a supportive environment for building relationships in order to form and grow successful industrial collaborations, licensing deals and spin out companies.
2.1.3. SciCap and Uni recognize that the transfer of knowledge and technology between universities and business is integral to the development of an innovation-driven economy. The UK Government and European Council have commissioned several studies on innovation, and have highlighted benefits to research institutions including the following which SciCap and Uni recognize as being relevant here:
- The development of mutual trust between research institutions and industry, beneficial to the establishment of long-term strategic partnerships;
- Gaining status and prestige resulting from successful partnerships and products;
- The identification of potential new clients or partners for further research;
- Attracting, retaining and motivating good scientists;
- Contributing to public authorities better recognising the socio-economic relevance of publicly-funded research, potentially leading to increased funding thereof.
These benefits would ideally have further positive consequences, such as facilitating exchanges of staff, between the research institution and industry, or the hiring of new graduates from the research institution by industry.
Universities have generally implemented policies to deal with inventions and collaborations with industry which can lead to a number of benefits for society at large and, in particular, the local economy. These benefits include new jobs, new products on the market and better education.
2.2. Uni employs scientists and engineers who may wish to commercialize their work and may be interested in engaging with experts in finance and business.
2.2.1. Uni may have benefited from a variety of regional and national funding initiatives in order to foster the development of a research-led economy and intended to create and sustain businesses.
2.2.2. Uni has, through a network of resources, fostered dynamic relationships among companies, businesses, research institutions, and university partners. Uni also is positioned to design and develop community and regional initiatives that may accelerate the technological evolution of the region. Uni may be able to serve as a valuable link between the networking capabilities available at SciCap and regional businesses.
3. COOPERATIVE RELATIONSHIP
SciCap and Uni agree to form a cooperative relationship under this MOU for the purposes stated above. In furtherance of this agreement:
3.1. Uni and SciCap representatives will engage in discussions for the purpose of identifying speakers, businesses and activities that will leverage the capabilities and resources of SciCap, Uni, West Midlands-based technology-oriented business firms and leading higher education institutions to the mutual benefit of all parties.
3.2. Information on Uni inventions available for licensing and spin outs is generally available to the public at the website of its TTO. Using this information and suggestions from a TTO representative, SciCap may endeavour to identify and promote leading scientists, engineers, spin outs and technology-oriented companies that may have an interest in presenting and discussing their recent scientific research and technological developments, seeking investments, commercializing their work or building industrial partnerships in fields including medical/healthcare, low carbon/energy, advanced materials/engineering and digital media/ICT research. SciCap may bring together investment, financial, legal, management and business experts to provide suggestions and advice to Uni scientists or inventors.
3.3. SciCap will endeavour to provide timely information to Uni by giving programme overview and SciCap-sponsored event details. Uni will endeavour to notify relevant members of staff and student groups about the events, for example by email notices sent to staff, students and postdocs of the relevant department(s) such as those involved in engineering, physical, chemical, biological, or computational sciences departments.
3.4. The SciCap will continue to coordinate efforts with Uni through its External Advisory Group or through a contact nominated by Uni.
3.5. SciCap will assist Uni personnel with their familiarization of publicly available information on current SciCap programmes and activities that may be of interest to educational institution and small businesses. SciCap may also arrange for direct discussions between SciCap members and Uni for the purpose of highlighting specific initiatives and opportunities that may be of mutual interest.
3.6. SciCap may choose to assist small enterprises that may be affiliated with Uni, for example by pointing out options for collaborations, partnerships or business training.
3.7. Uni and SciCap may endeavour to cooperate in promotion of various technology transfer programmes and showcases for example by recommending speakers or participants or advertising events.
3.8. SciCap will organize activities and events that showcase the technology and capabilities of researchers and small businesses that may be members of Uni.
3.9. SciCap offer opportunities for Uni to describe its role and capabilities to the SciCap membership.
4. GENERAL CONDITIONS
4.1. Uni is invited to nominate a TTO representative as a single point of contact who will serve as the principal interface for his/her respective organization with SciCap.
4.2. Either party may cancel this MOU and any extension thereof by providing the other party with 30-day notice of cancellation. Such cancellation notice shall be sent by certified mail and will be effective 30 days from the date sent. Cancellation of this agreement will have no effect on approved project agreements.
5. EFFECTIVE DATE
This MOU will be effective upon the date of the final signature of this document for a period of one year with one-year extensions available upon written mutual agreement. Extensions become effective upon final signature of the appropriate parties.
This MOU does not constitute or create, and shall not be deemed to constitute, any legally binding or enforceable obligations on the part of any party.
Director, Science Capital
Director, Uni Technology Transfer Office