As part of a debate on Higher Education and its strategic direction over the next 10-15 years, the Secretary of State for Innovation Universities and Skills, John Denham, invited the Vice Chancellor Paul Wellings of Lancaster University to look at the issue of university intellectual property and research benefits

The secretary of state invited consideration of two particular questions: (1) "How universities should manage their IP for their own benefit and the wider economy?"; and (2) " How should we maximise the research and economic benefits of Intellectual Property?" . Professor Wellings published his report answering this question at the start of November.

Professor Wellings made a number of recommendations specifically aimed at universities. In particular, he suggests that universities review their institutional governance arrangements for management of IP and consultancy arrangements. He also advises that universities should ensure that they monitor use of their background IP and ensure adequate protection of the IP arising out of projects to prevent loss of rights and diffusion of IP. In addition, to try to foster enterprise development by their students, he recommends that universities should ensure that their policies in relation to IP assigned to the university by students do not act as a disincentive by properly informing students before ownership is assigned.

Click here to see the report in full.