University of Akron supports the Ohio IP Promise

Initiative develops guiding principles for Ohio’s university systems to strengthen the state's economy, attract innovative researchers, and serve as a magnet for investors and entrepreneurs.
Thu Sep 5, 2019

The University of Akron joins universities from across the state in supporting the Ohio IP Promise, a best-in-class process for how universities cultivate the licensing of intellectual property (IP) that was announced today by Lt. Gov. Jon Husted during a press conference in Columbus. The process was developed to strengthen Ohio’s economy, attract innovative researchers, and serve as a magnet for investors and entrepreneurs.

Members of the  Inter-University Council of Ohio (IUC), including representatives from The University of Akron, Kent State University, Youngstown State University, The Ohio State University, University of Cincinnati, Wright State University, University of Toledo, Shawnee State University, Ohio University, Northeast Ohio Medical University, Miami University, Cleveland State University, Central State University and Bowling Green State University worked together to establish the guidelines. They engaged faculty, research officers, entrepreneurs, investors and attorneys to gain insights into their needs and ideas. The approach included benchmarking peer universities across the nation, including Stanford, MIT, Michigan and Purdue; comparing the technology commercialization processes at our state institutions; and collaborating with Ohio’s Research Officers Council to ensure alignment on guiding principles.

Universities working in step

“Developing the IP Promise allowed the state’s university research community to come together, study and discuss methods to support entrepreneurial efforts,” said Dr. George Chase, interim director of research initiatives at UA. “The University of Akron is a leader in technology transfer and patent generation, and the IP Promise is a way for Akron to work in step with other universities to better promote economic development throughout the state.”

The Ohio IP Promise serves to unify Ohio’s public universities by providing a clear path for faculty and entrepreneurs interested in pursuing entrepreneurial and commercial ventures. The universities will prominently display on their technology transfer or research websites the following resources:

  • Licensing options for industry-sponsored research agreements that are competitive and flexible;
  • Clearly defined options for industry reflecting different levels of IP rights from sponsored research;
  • Standard Option and License Agreement templates; and
  • Simple and transparent guidelines and agreements for faculty creator startups.

Gaining an equal footing

The Ohio IP Promise also helps ensure that Ohio’s public universities are competitive when it comes to the transfer of university discoveries to the commercial sector and benefits all stakeholders in the entrepreneurial ecosystem. It also helps Ohio public universities further streamline their processes, improve transparency and speed to support commercialization of Ohio innovations. With a focus on continuous improvement, universities will develop aligned metrics, annual measurement processes and establish common reporting mechanisms.

This initiative fosters a climate where innovation thrives through partnerships among universities, researchers, entrepreneurs, investors and industry. With improved collaboration, high-impact discoveries made at Ohio universities will go to market more quickly, boosting Ohio’s economy and improving its residents’ lives with new products and services.


Media contact: Cristine Boyd, 330-972-6476 or cboyd @uakron.edu.