A fresh approach to Intellectual Property: Easy Access IP

A fresh approach to Intellectual Property: Easy Access IP

In 2010 the University of Glasgow took the bold step of marketing technology opportunities free of charge through our Easy Access IP initiative. The ethos was simple; get early stage technology into the hands of innovators who can explore, develop and exploit it quickly. In return companies were asked to provide a proposal outlining how they intended to exploit the technology for the benefit of the UK.

The scheme reflects our commitment to make it easier for industry to engage with us and build mutually rewarding and long lasting partnerships with the business community.

Colorado- based Boulder Nonlinear Systems have made use of IP available through an Easy Access licence and incorporated it into a new product, a Portable Optical Trapping System known as ‘The Cube’. The Cube provides researchers with a stand-alone optical tweezers system which is designed around a custom inverted microscope. This compact instrument allows optical trapping and thus physical manipulation of hundreds of microscopic objects in three dimensions using an iPad control to set and move each optical trap independently.

The original concept behind The Cube was developed by researchers in the School of Physics and Astronomy at Glasgow in collaboration with the University of Bristol. The design rights and the software underpinning the optical trap were transferred from the University to Boulder Nonlinear Systems via an Easy Access IP licence.

Professor Miles Padgett, Dean of Research in the School of Science and Engineering at the University leads the Optics research group who worked with Boulder Nonlinear. He said, “The University recognises the benefits of the Easy Access IP initiative as a means of building long term partnerships with industry. I have long realised the importance of getting research out of the lab and into public use and I look forward to continuing to work with Boulder Non-Linear Systems and making the product a success.”

One of the main advantages of Easy Access IP is the simple, one page agreement which makes it possible to accelerate the translation of university technology into marketable products. The deal between Glasgow and Boulder Nonlinear Systems was completed within eight weeks of the initial discussion and the company’s product was successfully launched within 6 months with immediate sales.

Mark Tanner, Vice- President of Boulder Nonlinear Systems, is full of praise of Easy Access IP. He said, “The Easy Access IP Program that the University of Glasgow utilises is a simple and straight-forward approach that focuses on establishing and supporting a relationship to commercialise University developed technology. Boulder Nonlinear Systems appreciates and is honoured to be a part of this programme as it truly establishes a cornerstone for us to build and be successful.”

More recently, the University has completed an Easy Access deal with a new Scottish start-up company specialising in animal health, NewMetrica. The company will use the questionnaire-based tools developed at the University over a number of years, to help assess the health and well being of pets and farm animals. The technology is being developed for use by veterinary professionals and owners.

For more information on Easy Access IP, visit our website.

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