Alison Grieve

It’s World Intellectual Property (IP) Day – a good reason to celebrate Scotland’s amazing history of invention, innovation and long-standing track record of coming up with fresh ways to improve everyday processes.

Although we rarely need an excuse to celebrate our nation’s incredible achievements, it is a good opportunity to highlight the important part which IP plays in business-academic collaborations.

The theme of this year’s World Intellectual Property Day is Powering Change: Women in Innovation and Creativity.

As the World Intellectual Property Organization states:

“The important and inspiring contributions of countless women around the globe are powering change in our world. Their “can do” attitude is an inspiration to us all. And their remarkable achievements are an invaluable legacy for young girls today with aspirations to become the inventors and creators of tomorrow.”

Interface has supported hundreds of women in business as they create new products, processes and services; entrepreneurs like Alison Grieve, whose mission is to change the way we hold things, or the school pupils behind Envirocache, a unique health app designed to encourage young people to walk outdoors and get closer to nature.

We also aim to support academics at all stages of their careers, matching them with business partners who will bring out the best in their research and academic expertise - women like Dr Jane Ali-Knight, Professor Lee Innes, Claire Bereziat, Professor Claire Seaman and Professor Rachel Norman, to name a few.

Businesses often ask us about legal and contractual issues including intellectual property, and how they can protect their ideas when entering collaborations with academia.

Whilst we can’t advise on individual contracts, Interface, working with Universities Scotland, (which represents all 19 universities in Scotland) has produced a suite of standard legal templates including confidentiality agreements which are downloadable and free to use.

We also have information on different options for intellectual property agreements. Find one to suit your business and use it as a basis for discussions with your university partner before the collaborative project gets underway. That way, all partners will be clear on who owns the foreground intellectual property generated from a project, as well as background intellectual property brought to the table.

We have included case studies which showcase some of the great projects, products and collaborations that we have helped to support.

Intellectual Property is important and, with some initial consideration and conversations, will help to strengthen business-academic collaborations.  You could say, powering change for good – join us at #worldipday