Victoria University is to offer free licences to local companies and NGOs to enable them to commercialise some of the technologies and research developed within the university.
The program will be launched by the university’s commercialisation arm, Viclink, at the forthcoming OS//OS Open Source Open Society 2016 event being held in Wellington 22-23 August, of which the University is a partner.
Project champion and ‘open innovation manager’, Bianca Grizhar, says the programme complements the university’s existing commercialisation efforts and should help the university work closer with local industry partners to identify and develop innovative technologies that will have benefits for local communities and the economy.
She also hopes the programme will “leverage Wellington’s unique potential as a thriving digital and information technology hub to catalyse growth in this high value strategic growth sector.”
The university explained the move by saying that barriers prevented the commercial potential of many of its research developments being realised.
“A large proportion of all university-developed technologies worldwide never make it into production as transfer units such as Viclink often lack capacity to pursue them all,” it said.
“By necessity they must generally focus on opportunities assessed as fitting strategic goals and for which they are well placed in terms of involved staff, funding and partners. This is a missed opportunity on many levels as potentially beneficial innovations for society or local businesses may fall by the wayside and never have the impact they could.”
It adds: “The typical technology transfer and licensing process is often complicated, costly and drawn out involving various stages of funding and patent applications and complex legal transfer agreements. This process can be a barrier preventing valuable partnerships forming as: small companies and start-ups often lack the capital, legal knowledge and experience to negotiate these complexities; it is not well suited to development in the fast paced digital sector where speed and flexibility is crucial to success; it can prevent students and researchers from continuing to develop their research commercially after they graduate.”
The second annual Open Source Open Society Conference is a two day event to be held 22-23 August 2016 at Michael Fowler Centre in Wellington. It promises to “bring together global leaders, local champions and vibrant community from open technology, open government, open business and open education.”
The event is an initiative of the Wellington-based Enspiral Foundation, which describes itself as "a virtual and physical network of companies and professionals working together to create a thriving society.” It was founded in 2010 by “a collective of individuals doing contract work together and excited by the possibility of creating something more.”