I have been advising universities on their contracts with industry—research contracts, collaborations, consultancies, technology licensing, assignments, and the rest—for nearly 20 years. By coincidence, some U.K. universities have roughly the same amount of direct experience of technology transfer. In 1985, a Government minister announced in the House of Commons, that in the future universities would be free to undertake their own technology transfer activities, in respect to inventions arising out of work conducted using Research Council funding. Prior to that date, BTG (British Technology Group, formerly the National Research and Development Corporation) held a monopoly over such inventions. Since then, many universities have built up their technology transfer departments, or formed separate companies to manage their technology transfer activities.
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