Intellectual Property News

November 2015: IP Pragmatics' Scottish Office Address

IP Pragmatics’ new Scottish office is located in Forth House on Rutland Square in Edinburgh. If you would like to come and meet us at the new office, please email Amy Lam


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October 2015: Meet us at AURIL 2015

IP Pragmatics will be exhibiting at AURIL on 8-9th October at the Barbican in London. The conference will be attended by Ronnie Georghiou, Rebecca Ashton and Kyriakos Tzafestas.

Ronnie has recently returned to the London office after setting up the IP Pragmatics office in Australia. Rebecca and Kyriakos are the newest members of our team so we look forward to introducing them to our existing clients and network.

Come and visit us at our stand or if you would like to set up a meeting in advance, please email Ronnie.


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October 2015: Development of industry-academic collaborative research contracts for Ireland

Knowledge Transfer Ireland has been charged with supporting the development of Ireland's research commercialisation system to enable business to leverage the potential of public sector research and innovation.

One of KTI's areas of responsibility is the evolution of Ireland's IP Protocol that governs how industry and public sector research can work together. Associated with this is the development of supporting Model Agreements and Guides, many of which are available here on the KTI website.

KTI is now undertaking a key project to develop a series of Model Collaborative Research Agreements that can be used for contracting between industry and the research base in Ireland. Whilst their use will not be mandated, they will provide a useful starting point and in many cases (whether used “as is” or as a guide) should speed up the process of negotiation.

KTI has appointed IP Pragmatics to lead on this project based on our previous experience in industry-academia interactions and associated contracting. An expert group has been convened that includes representatives with experience in negotiating collaborative research agreements, drawn from different industry sectors and from Higher Education Institutions. This group will input into the preparation of the Guide and Agreements. With meetings commencing mid-October, the project will deliver a document to Ireland’s Department of Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation by the year end.

If you have any observations relating to your experiences in drafting and negotiating industry-academic research collaboration agreements within Ireland that you wish to share we would like to hear from you. Please email Elaine Eggington by 23rd October 2015.


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October 2015: IP Pragmatics appoints Kyriakos Tzafestas

IP Pragmatics has appointed a new Junior Technology Transfer Consultant, Kyriakos Tzafestas.

Kyriakos joined the company earlier in September and will be based at the London office. He has previous experience in Technology Transfer Policy and as a Field Application Scientist and is currently completing a PhD in Environmental Biotechnology at the University of York. The PhD focuses on the generation of genetically modified plants for the decontamination of soil that has been polluted with explosives.

We are pleased to welcome Kyriakos to the team. His expertise in plant genetics will be a considerable asset to the team.


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September 2015: IP Pragmatics to open new office in Scotland

We are pleased to announce that in October we will be opening a new office in Edinburgh, Scotland. The office will be led by Amy Lam, who will be joining the senior team at IP Pragmatics.

Amy has held a number of positions specialising in IP management and commercialisation in the life sciences sector, and her experience ranges from evaluating commercialisation opportunities, managing IP portfolios, securing early stage seed funding through to carrying out commercial due diligence, valuation and licensing. Most recently she has been Head of Business Development at Edinburgh BioQuarter, assisting the Medical School at the University of Edinburgh and NHS Lothian with its commercialisation activities and commercial engagement of the research base with pharma and biotech companies.


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September 2015: Elaine Eggington appointed Executive Director (Consulting)

Following a reorganisation of the senior management team, Elaine Eggington has been appointed as Executive Director of our consulting business.

Elaine has worked for the company for the past 6 years and was appointed as Principal Consultant in 2012. Over this time she has successfully led a number of large projects and contributed broadly across the business. This promotion is a well-deserved recognition of this valued contribution.


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September 2015: Paper published in the International Journal of Cancer

Ronnie Georghiou and Elaine Eggington have co-authored a paper with CellBank Australia which has been published in the International Journal of Cancer.

The paper analyses survey responses from 250 scientists to assess common cell culture risks and how these risks are managed in practice. Respondents show that sharing of cell lines between laboratories continues to be widespread. Arrangements for mycoplasma and authentication testing are increasingly in place, although scientists are often uncertain how to perform authentication testing. Additional risks are identified for preparation of frozen stocks, storage, and shipping.

IP Pragmatics helped CellBank Australia to set up, design and analyse the online survey that forms the basis for this investigation. The published paper can be found here:
http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/ijc.29817/abstract


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August 2015: Rebecca Ashton joins the team

We are pleased to welcome Rebecca Ashton who has joined the IP Pragmatics team in London.

Rebecca has a First Class BSc in Biochemistry from UCL. During her time at UCL, she volunteered as a science busker at The Francis Crick Institute and set up a new society for science busking at UCL.

Rebecca has recently completed the MSc in Management of Intellectual Property at Queen Mary and her IP knowledge will be a valuable base for her role at IP Pragmatics.


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August 2015: Round-up of Australia & New Zealand conferences

Below is a round-up of Australia and New Zealand events we have recently attended as well as upcoming conferences.

Jon Burdach attended the BioShares 2015 conference in Queenstown on 17 and 18 July. He will also be at the NZBIO 2015 conference at Te Papa in Wellington on 23-24 September. To set up a meeting at the conference please email Jon.

Ronnie Georghiou will be attending KCA 2015 in Melbourne from 10-11 September, where we are sponsoring the session on 'Novel Ways to Transfer Knowledge'. Please email Ronnie to set up a meeting during the conference.


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August 2015: Annual Knowledge Transfer Survey from KTI

Knowledge Transfer Ireland (KTI) has recently published their Annual Knowledge Transfer Study (AKTS) for 2014. This annual review studies business engagement and commercialisation activity from Ireland’s State-funded research performing organisations (RPOs). The report included a summary of the deeper review which IP Pragmatics undertook on behalf of KTI, to examine active spin-outs and new products and services that came onto the market in 2013 based on technology licensed from Irish RPOs.

Our study showed that there were 78 spin-out companies reported by the RPOs as being active three or more years post formation. Of these companies, 64% are in the ICT or Health and Med Tech sectors. Of these active spinout companies, many have accessed more than one type of intellectual property to underpin their business. Patented technology constituted 45% of underpinning RPO licences and software a further 28%. All but one (99%) of the active spin-outs are still located in Ireland, often remaining near their founding institution. Of these 78 active spinout companies, the study found that 23 (29%) have established offices and/or appointed distribution agents in at least one overseas territory. Many of the others are trading abroad directly from their base in Ireland. Looking back to formation date, 32 of the active spin-outs in 2013 had been formed in the 21 years prior to the introduction of the Enterprise Ireland TTSI programme in 2007. A further 46 currently active spin-outs had been formed in the four year period 2007-2010. Between them, RPO spin-out companies that remained active in 2013 provided employment for more than 660 people. Although investment data were not available for all the companies, IP Pragmatics determined that these spin-outs have raised in excess of €203 million in aggregate, based on the data available for 33 companies that have disclosed the amount of their investments.

The available and validated data from the AKTS 2013 identified 26 new products and services that came onto the market in 2013 based on technology licensed from Irish RPOs. Once a technology has been transferred, the RPO may not be aware of the contribution of their IP to the products or services offered by licensees, particularly when the IP leads to improvements in existing products, rather than the development of a completely new product line. Therefore the number returned will be an underestimate of the contribution made by licences from RPOs to new launches. The bulk of the licensees are in the ICT or Health and Med Tech sectors. The types of companies that have brought these licensed technologies to market range from small start-ups to multinational corporations. Nearly half of the licences are with RPO spin-out companies, in nearly all cases spun out from the same RPO. Looking at the underpinning intellectual property, 61% of the underpinning licences were related to patent protected IP (29%) and to software (32%). The majority (85%) of products or services launched on the market in 2013 were by way of licences to Irish companies.

This year, IP Pragmatics are updating this in-depth survey to look at the new active spin-outs and products and services that arose from the Irish RPOs during 2014, which will build a rich picture of the successful impact that knowledge transfer from these RPOs has on society and the economy.


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July 2015: Supporting Medical Device Company Expansion

We are working with Guernsey based Medical Technology Limited to identify new markets and channels for their innovative pain relief products.

Over seven years in development and research, Tenease (www.tenease.com) and Kneease (www.kneease.com) use patented vibration therapy to block pain and reduce the healing time for tennis elbow sufferers and for knee pain relief in osteoarthritis sufferers, respectively. For further information and to discuss potential interest in partnering with these products please contact Rupert Osborn


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July 2015: Supporting Commercialisation of Microbial Fuel Cell Technology

Researchers at the Bristol Bio-Energy Centre, University of the West of England, Bristol (UWE), have developed a patented stacked Microbial Fuel Cell (MFC) unit, capable of increased power output and waste clean-up rates; in an improved, lower cost and more flexible configuration than is currently available.

IP Pragmatics is currently supporting UWE to review and evaluate commercialisation options for this exciting MFC technology. Potential applications being considered include wastewater, industrial liquid waste, urine or liquid sewage treatment and simultaneous electricity generation. A prototype has recently been evaluated at the UK’s Glastonbury festival and further information is available at: http://info.uwe.ac.uk/news/uwenews/news.aspx?id=3120%20.


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July 2015: Use of Proof of Concept funding in the UK

IP Pragmatics is carrying out research on behalf of Innovate UK into the use of Proof of Concept funding for businesses and academia in the UK. We have been looking at how different organisations and different sectors view what constitutes Proof of Concept.

We have also investigated what sources of Proof of Concept funding are available and gathered supporting data to understand how academia and businesses are using these funding sources. Evidence has been gathered through a survey intended for those who are involved in managing, applying for, or using Proof of Concept funding either within the public or private sector. Over 400 people have taken the survey representing all types of organisation from across the UK.

The information gathered through this project will help to inform the future thinking of Innovate UK on Proof of Concept funding. For more information about our research, please contact Rupert Osborn.


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June 2015: Meet us at PraxisUnico 2015

IP Pragmatics will be exhibiting at this year’s PraxisUnico conference at Croke Park, Dublin from 10-12 June.

The conference kicks off with site visits to IBM, Intel, Guinness, DIT and the Book of Kells and Science Gallery at Trinity College Dublin.

Titled "Expanding Horizons", the conference looks at key issues facing research commercialisation professionals both from within the sector and beyond, with an eye on the increasingly globalised environment in which we operate.

If you would like to arrange a meeting with us, please email Ronnie, Elaine or Rupert.


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May 2015: We are recruiting

There are three new positions available at IP Pragmatics. We are seeking an experienced life science business consultant to help establish and lead our new office in Scotland.

We are also seeking two technology analysts / junior technology transfer consultants with a background in science and/or market research to work from our London office.

Further details on these opportunities can be found via the following links:

Technology Analysts (London-based)

Principal Consultant (Scotland-based)


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April 2015: Good Gut Group Launches First Commercial Product

This month Good Gut Group Pty Ltd, a start-up based in NSW, Australia, has launched its first commercial product in the Forster-Tuncurry area of NSW.

The early beginnings of a new product range in Australia; Better Belly™ Bread is a low FODMAP product designed for people who are sensitive to wheat that experience symptoms consistent with Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS). The bread can be enjoyed by IBS sufferers, their friends and families. Provided these consumers do not have coeliac disease, Better Belly™ Bread can be an alternative to gluten-free breads and has superior taste and texture.

IP Pragmatics continues to support commercialisation efforts in Australia, the UK and further afield to make this patented breakthrough dough-based technology available in multiple market segments. Further information is available on the updated website: http://goodgutgroup.com/ and http://www.greatlakesadvocate.com.au/story/3000417/locals-launch-better-belly-bread/?cs=447.

For partnering enquiries please contact ronnie.georghiou@ip-pragmatics.com.


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March 2015: NCUB publishes our preliminary assessment of Easy Access IP

Today the National Centre for Universities and Business (NCUB) is publishing IP Pragmatics’ preliminary assessment of the Easy Access IP initiative. The report looks at how the scheme has been used in practice, based on publicly available data and interviews with 75% of the Easy Access IP partners. The detailed results are in the report on the NCUB website, and here we highlight some of our key findings.

Easy Access IP is an approach to knowledge exchange between Universities and business under which research institutions offer a free licence to a specific technology, using a simple, non-negotiable, one-page agreement. In return for the licence, the recipient must commit to using the technology to create value for society and the economy, and to acknowledge the role of the Institution as the originator of the intellectual property (IP). By the end of 2014, Easy Access IP had been adopted by 24 Universities and research organisations both in the UK and abroad. The primary aim of the scheme was to increase the interactions between Universities and business by removing the perceived barriers that they may be difficult to deal with or over-value their IP.

Although it is still too early to judge the success of the scheme for most participants, we now have some firm data about its use to date. A total of 68 Easy Access IP licence deals were reported by 18 organisations in this survey; this number is small compared with the number of traditional licences agreed in the same time period (677 deals reported by 14 organisations). Most of the participants are using Easy Access IP licences only very occasionally, whilst two organisations between them have carried out about 66% of the reported Easy Access deals. The University of New South Wales have made it the core of their knowledge exchange approach and the default mechanism of industry engagement, which they believe is responsible for their higher level of Easy Access IP deals

Most of the deals are currently done with SMEs which are located close to the University, and it is used across the full range of technology subject areas, types of IP and stages of development. Indeed, one of the interesting findings of the research was the wide range of different niche applications that the different organisations have enabled using Easy Access IP. These range from social enterprise and SME engagement, to support for University start-ups. Some of the organisations are now extending the approach to their research collaborations, and using Easy Access IP to leverage wider industry interactions.

Even where the scheme is not heavily used, the majority of participants find it a useful addition to the range of KE mechanisms available to them, and they all intend to remain partners and continue to use the scheme where appropriate. They see the Easy Access IP brand as a valuable marketing tool both to academics and to potential industry partners, which sends out a positive message that the organisation is open and easy to work with.

Easy Access IP set out a challenge to industry – if the low level of engagement is due to the difficulty of dealing with Universities, then removal of these barriers should lead to increased engagement from companies. This does not appear to have happened to a significant extent, so perhaps this demonstrates that the costs and risks of development, the difficulties of reaching potential partners, or a lack of commercial potential may be more important constraints to wider uptake of University intellectual property.

Dr Rosa Fernandez, Director of Research at NCUB has welcomed the report, commenting: “Initiatives such as Easy Access IP aim to expand the use university knowledge in business operations and strategy, which is at the heart of what NCUB does. It may be too early to judge the success of Easy Access IP overall but it is not too early to welcome a practice that is organised as a partnership, has demonstrated appeal to SMEs, and adds to the portfolio of tools we have to expand access to university knowledge assets.”

Our thanks go to NCUB for commissioning the report following the Government’s response to the House of Commons Science and Technology committee’s enquiry into the Valley of Death, and for all their support alongside that of PraxisUnico. We are also very grateful to all the members of the Easy Access IP partnership who provided their time, data and insights to support our research.

To download the full report, click here or to discuss the results, contact Elaine Eggington


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March 2015: A pragmatic review 2015/16

IP Pragmatics published the first edition of A pragmatic review in 2013. The edition focused on the sectors in which we work and following positive feedback, we have published a second edition which focuses on our area of expertise in these sectors as well as some of our other core sectors.

An important aspect of our capabilities is the ability to work across the whole of the IP revenue growth cycle from initial technology assessment right through to successful exploitation. The latest publication includes a legend with symbols for our services in order to show how the examples of our work in different sectors map onto different parts of the cycle.

The issue highlights some of the work we have carried out in three of our core sectors of expertise: functional food, diagnostics and animal health. We also have case studies in a growing area of our work – strategy and advice.

The digital version is available to view here.


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March 2015: Meet us in Australia at LESANZ and AusMedTech

Ronnie Georghiou and Jon Burdach will be in Melbourne for AusMedTech 2015 on April 29-30 and LESANZ 2015 from 29 April – 1 May.

AusMedtech is Australia's premier medical technology conference for medtech executives. The conference will target key commercial issues such as export opportunities, finance and investment, hot technologies and updates in the fields of IP, regulatory approvals, health economics and reimbursement and sales networks. IP Pragmatics looks forward to catching up with existing clients and contacts in Melbourne next month to discuss, explore and support commercialisation opportunities in the medical device and diagnostics fields.

LESANZ 2015 is a leading annual conference that keeps up with emerging trends and practises in tech transfer and licensing matters in Australia and New Zealand. IP Pragmatics has attended and supported this event for many years and looks forward to reconnecting with fellow members in April.

If you would like to meet with our team at either conference, please email Ronnie or Jon.


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February 2015: IPRIS service upgrade: grant notifications directly from PTOs

There are several Patent and Trademark Offices (PTOs) around the world where patent renewals are not due until the application is granted.

IPRIS has recently implemented a service where it retrieves data directly from these PTOs on a regular basis and queries any applications it holds in its records against those found on the public record.

Once IPRIS receives an update that an application is granted, or is about to grant, they contact the client to advise them of this and of any renewal fees that are due.

IPRIS plan to extend this service to other PTO’s to automate the checking of client’s patent data, which is particularly important as IPRIS grows and takes on new clients.


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January 2015: Meet us at AUTM 2015

IP Pragmatics will be exhibiting at the AUTM 2015 annual meeting in New Orleans from 22-25 February. The conference will be attended by principal consultants Elaine Eggington and Ronnie Georghiou who has recently re-joined the UK team after setting up the Australian office.

Highlights of the 2015 conference include a fireside chat featuring entrepreneur-turned-educator, Steve Blank, and a keynote speech by author Steven Johnson about the history of innovation – how ideas emerge and how they affect the world today.

Visit us at Booth 312 or email Elaine or Ronnie to schedule a meeting. We look forward to seeing you in New Orleans!


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January 2015: Impact from Knowledge Transfer in Ireland

Knowledge Transfer Ireland (KTI) was established in late 2013 to ensure that Irish and international businesses can leverage the commercial potential of Irish public sector research and innovation.

IP Pragmatics has been working with KTI to carry out a survey which gives a rich picture of the products and services, and the active spin-out companies over three years old which were reported in the recently published Annual Knowledge Transfer Study (AKTS) 2013. We collated detailed information for 78 spin-outs, and 26 licensed products and services from a total of 11 different Research Performing Organisations (RPOs) in Ireland. Together these data illustrate the depth of the technology transfer process which is developing in Ireland, and identifies some of the most successful examples of the impact that this is having on society and the economy.


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January 2015: BEACON Natural Cosmetics Seminar

IP Pragmatics' Elaine Eggington was invited to speak on innovation in the cosmetics industry at the Natural Cosmetics Seminar hosted by BEACON on 12 January 2015 at Bangor University.

BEACON is the Biorefining Centre of Excellence which is a partnership between the Aberystwyth, Bangor and Swansea Universities. It focuses on the development of a viable Welsh bio-economy through the expansion of green supply chains.

Elaine’s presentation included trends in the cosmetic industry and a patent analysis of the landscape. A PDF of the presentation is available to view here. The meeting also covered current research and the view from industry and the regulators towards natural cosmetics ingredients. The afternoon was devoted to interaction and networking, with flash presentations from delegates and facilitated focus sessions.


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