Guidelines for Technology Transfer

Technology transfer is the process where technology or know how developed by the Institute is licensed to an entity (entrepreneur, enterprise or startup) for commercialisation. The Institute follow a policy and a set of procedures for transfer of technology which is briefly as follows:

Identification of technologies for transfer
The institute may have several ongoing projects at a given time. Whenever a research project shows promise of an industrial application and potential for commercialization, it is taken up for commercialization efforts to identify potential industrial partners who are able to scale it up and take it to market.

What we look for in a partner
A project awaiting technology transfer may have certain technical gaps or may need certain specialized skill sets, facilities, processes or materials for its success. In such cases, industry partner who will be able to provide these missing links either through own resources or by tapping other resources is preferred.

The technical strength, the R&D capability, manufacturing facilities, size of company, marketing strength, financial strength, brand and reputation etc are considered. These factors are considered with the TRL (Technology readiness level)/degree of difficulty associated with the technology before identifying the right partner.

Possible modes of industry tie up and technology transfer
Considering the TRL and degree of difficulty of a project, different modes of industry tie up and licensing are possible. These may include but not limited to any of the following:

Licensing on an as is where is basis
Licensing at the current TRL level with consultancy/sponsorship for further development
Scaling up/ Incubating jointly with the industry partner and licensing post scaling up/incubation to the same partner or to a third party
Joint/ collaborative project with another research organization and jointly licensing to an industrial partner after completion of the project
Undertaking sponsored research and licensing back to the sponsor or a third party.
Financial Terms and Conditions
The financial terms and conditions for technology transfer could be any one or a combination of the following, but not limited to:

Technology fee as upfront premium
This premium reflects the value of technology / Know-How at the time it is being transferred. The premium being a compensation for the transfer of rights for use of the Know-How, is charged at the time of technology transfer.

A royalty payment as a percentage of total annual ex-factory sales price
Exclusivity and Non-exclusivity
An exclusive license means that Institute will not re-licence the same technology to another partner during the period of exclusivity. In general, exclusivity is considered if such a protection is justifiable due to the limited market, competition in market, efforts/investment put in by the licensee etc in which case it may not be prudent to create another competition for the first licensee. Also exclusivity will incur higher license fee.

In the case of exclusive licence, a clause on time to commercialization will be included in the agreement and the exclusivity will be revoked if commercialization is not achieved within the time specified for the product.

In the case of non-exclusive licenses, Institute will continue to pursue and seek industry partners even after the first licenses has been issued (relicensing).

Technology Transfer Committee (TTC) & its role
A standing Technology Transfer Committee is constituted by the Institute for screening and identifying the most suitable industrial partner. The decisions on the selection of the industry partner and the terms and conditions for transfer including exclusivity are made based on the recommendation of this committee.

Period of license
In arriving at the duration of license period, the following factors are considered:

In the case of licensing of the patent alone, the royalty is payable up to the life of the patent.
In the case of licensing of know-how, the royalty is payable as long as the product is in the market.

Support to Industry partner
The Institute supports its industry partner as long as the product is in the market and industry partner is making prompt royalty payments. Support is offered in the form of training and demonstration, sharing technical information, adoption of standards, trouble shooting, advice on testing and quality system, advice on scaling up etc.

The Institute also offers its testing services to industry partners at concessional rates. Any support provided beyond what is committed in the Technology Transfer agreement will be at additional cost.

Technology Transfer Agreement/ MoU
A Technology Transfer Agreement/ MOU is executed between Institute and industry partner specifying the detailed terms and conditions of the license.