Got an Idea?
WaikatoLink’s primary role is to commercialise research ideas and technologies generated at the University of Waikato
If you are a University of Waikato researcher and have an innovative idea or research concept, we’d love to hear about it. Just contact one of our Commercial Managers or complete a Commercial Project Request Notice (link below) and return it to us. We will then begin putting your idea through our commercialisation process, which is illustrated below.
If you are external to the University of Waikato, we’d be happy to talk to you about any projects you are undertaking and we may be able to provide commercial advice or connections where possible.
P: +64 7 838 4232
P: +64 7 858 5624
It is often helpful for us to find out about new ideas and research as early as possible. We can then work with you to evaluate whether your research can be applied commercially and help in securing the appropriate protection and industry partnerships where necessary. This ensures that you can both publish your work and retain future commercial opportunities. If your research is at idea stage, we can also carry out market and patent research to provide any information you may need or introduce you to companies that could support development.
Of course. Like you, we believe that publication is a great way to transfer knowledge and attract interest in your research. However, timing is very important. It is essential for us to protect the novel and unique aspects of your invention before they are publically disclosed. If the novelty is disclosed before patent protection is secured, commercial opportunities are likely to be lost.
There are a few possible options available to us. We can either file a provisional patent application prior to publication, or you can go ahead with publishing, being careful not to disclose novelty. By beginning conversations with us early, we can work together to reach the best possible outcome.
No, every project is different and has its own unique requirements. Our commercialisation process provides a general guideline for stages that should be ticked off along the way, but no two projects will follow the exact same path. We can expect to face hurdles to commercialisation along the way – most ideas fail a few times. For example, an interested company could find a solution to a problem in-house, meaning that we have to find a new deal target. Our commercial team have years of experience in tackling such hurdles and one of the main lessons learned is that if the research team is involved throughout, the project is much more likely to get to market.
We believe that it’s important to begin conversations with companies as early as possible. It can be useful to bounce ideas off people in the industry to understand market needs and problems, and identify opportunities for new technologies. These relationships can also be valuable later on in the process when we’re looking to identify suitable partners or deal targets. WaikatoLink can help by establishing these connections, advising on discussions around IP and supporting the development of collaborative relationships.
Absolutely! Commercialisation is a team sport, so we feel that it’s important for us to work closely with you during the commercialisation process. We know that researchers have immense knowledge, skills, networks and capability so it’s valuable to have your input along the way. We believe that your expertise and our commercialisation experience are an ideal combination in taking emerging technologies to the marketplace.
The University of Waikato’s IP policy indicates that net revenues, which can be in the form of up-front licence payments, royalties or revenue from technology sales, are distributed as follows:
- Inventor(s) 1/3
- Inventor(s) Department/Faculty 1/3
- University 1/3
See the University of Waikato’s Intellectual Property Rights Policy and Policy on Sharing of Benefits from Commercialisation of Intellectual Property for more information.
Yes, students who have contributed to the inventive step of a technology can gain a share of revenue distributions if they assign their IP to the University. IP assignment is an important step because it is difficult for WaikatoLink to commercialise projects that aren’t 100% owned by the University. However, the upside of students’ assigning their IP to the University is that they receive a share of revenue payments if the project is successfully exited by WaikatoLink.
WaikatoLink does not go forward with commercialising all disclosures that are submitted to us. Possible reasons for not proceeding could include: the requirement for further technical developments, limited market need, or existence of many competing technologies. We are dedicated to providing meaningful feedback, recommendations about future commercial opportunities and, where possible, connections to industry that may guide on-going development. We encourage all inventors to return to us if the barriers identified are overcome.
WaikatoLink offers services to support both commercial and non-commercial projects. If you have a research idea, we can help by providing market research, patent results or literature searches where needed. We can also put you in contact with companies who might be interested in working with you.
Whether a commercialisation exit is in the form of a licence deal, technology sale or spin-out company, WaikatoLink will strive to ensure that the research rights of inventors are retained. This means that you can continue working on the proposed area in research settings.
Intellectual property refers to a number of distinct types of creations of the mind, which are capable of being protected under national and international law. Common types of intellectual property include: patents, trademarks, copyright, design rights and trade secret. The link below provides more detailed information about intellectual property.