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Innovation Zones

Learn about new options to streamline the completion of sponsored research agreements and license agreements.

Program Overview

When a company wishes to enter a research collaboration with UC San Diego and fund that research, this arrangement requires the negotiation of a sponsored research agreement (SRA). In the past, the company then subsequently had to negotiate a license to gain exclusive access to any intellectual property (IP) generated in the course of the research. This process can be lengthy and can carry with it some additional risk for the industry partner.

Following consultation with our industry partners and in response to requests for a more flexible approach, UC San Diego is launching the Innovation Zones Program. When certain criteria are met (as described below), a company entering a research collaboration is enabled to secure an upfront license to any intellectual property created in the course of the research, all as part of the original agreement. It also simplifies the IP terms in an effort to streamline and give more transparency to the process. UC San Diego hopes that this responsive approach will deepen our already expansive partnerships with the industrial community and result in more of our technologies being translated into products and services for the benefit of society.

For SRAs (including clinical trials initiated by UC San Diego researchers), UC San Diego may propose some alternative licensing options to individual sponsoring industry partners with an upfront license to IP if:

  1. The company is for-profit;
  2. The company pays full cost of the research;
  3. The company is the sole source of funding used in the conduct of the project;
  4. The lead researcher agrees; and
  5. The terms of the SRA are consistent with prior obligations.

UC San Diego aims to streamline the completion of sponsored research agreements and build stronger working relationships with sponsoring industry partners, and is now offering the following options under a two-year pilot program (7/1/17-6/30/19):

Innovation Zone Description Highlights
Zone 0

R&D

Non-Exclusive Royalty-Free

Future Grant

Future grant of R&D non-exclusive royalty-free license

Fully funded research and

All contract terms are open to negotiation

  • No initial payment
  • No extra payments
Zone 1

Commercial

Non-Exclusive Royalty-Free

Present Grant

Present grant of commercial non-exclusive royalty-free license

Fully funded research

10% of research fund amount or minimum $10K (whichever is greater) as an Innovation Payment

  • Predefined terms
  • Small initial payment
  • No extra payments
  • All fields
  • All uses
Zone 2

Commercial

Exclusive License

Present Grant

Present grant of exclusive license

Fully funded research

15% of research fund amount or minimum $25K (whichever is greater) as an Innovation Payment

1% annual royalty on net sales over $20M

2% annual royalty on net sales over $200M

  • Predefined terms
  • No uncertainty
  • Large investment

For all Zones, the industry sponsor is responsible for all patent application and maintenance costs.