The importance of speeding up the negotiation process between universities and spin-offs
Last Thursday, 16 March 2022, Universities of The Netherlands (UNL) and Techleap.nl organised the webinar 'Spin-off Deal Term principles'. A group of nearly 80 people including scientists, investors, entrepreneurs, KTOs and other interested parties joined to learn more about standard deal-terms principles for university spin-offs. A working group from UNL developed these principles aimed at speeding up the negotiation process between universities and young companies, thereby increasing the chances of growth and success.
A brief introduction by Eppo Bruins (chair of the AWTI) was followed by an explanation by Roy Kolkman from the Dealterms working group on the uniform framework that has been developed and which 13 knowledge institutions are now using. The framework applies to the agreements these knowledge institutions make with spin-offs for access to intellectual property for the situation when the researcher quits employment.
After the presentation, extensive use was made of the time scheduled for questions. Under the moderation of Jaron Weishut (Techleap.nl), Roy Kolkman answered questions, including on the usability of the model and on the benchmark with other countries. The conclusion was that with this first set of Deal-term principles, a nice step forward has been made towards a climate in which it is easier for entrepreneurial scientists to start a business. 'This will benefit not only the companies themselves, but also society as a whole,' were the words of Eppo Bruins.
All universities, together with university medical centres, will join in a follow-up process that also takes in account situations in which a company is started up using a knowledge institution’s intellectual while the researcher does not become an entrepreneur him or herself. The use of the deal terms is periodically monitored and evaluated by the Knowledge Transfer Offices /Technology Transfer Offices (KTOs/TTOs) of the knowledge institutions, in cooperation with Techleap.nl, entrepreneurs and investors. This will help continually improve the efficiency of university spin-offs
These partners are already participating
The knowledge institutions that have currently indicated that they will use the dealterm principles are: Erasmus MC, Leiden University Medical Centre, Leiden University, Tilburg University, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, Radboudumc, Radboud University, Rijksuniversiteit Groningen , Wageningen University & Research, TU Delft, TU Eindhoven, University of Twente, TNO