Glossary of Terms

Knowledge Transfer Glossary of Terms

Active Spin-out - An Active Spin-out is an RPO-created spin-out company which has at least one paid employee and has raised equity and/or it has booked sales revenue. It is an incorporated entity which at the time of formation was dependent on the exploitation of specific intellectual property rights of the RPO. The RPO will have executed a licence to the spin-out for the IPR and/or will hold equity in the spin-out. 

Assignment - Contract transferring ownership of right in IP to a third party.

Collaborative research - A research project between two or more parties. In the context of RPO-industry collaborative research, the project may be fully-funded by the company or funded partly by the state and partly (in cash and/or in kind, including participation in the research itself) by the company. As a research project, there would be an expectation of publication and the outputs would not be guaranteed. The work will be covered by a collaborative research agreement.

Consultancy services - In the RPO context, this is a contractual arrangement in which the RPO provides professional-level work to an external client organisation through an academic, researcher or other member of RPO staff in exchange for a full commercial fee. The work is specified (or agreed) by the client against deliverables agreed with the RPO. 

DBEI - The Department of Business, Enterprise and Innovation is a department of the government of Ireland. It leads on the creation and maintenance of high quality and sustainable full employment across all regions of the country by championing enterprise across government, by supporting a competitive enterprise base to incentivise work, enterprise, trade and investment and by promoting fair and competitive markets.

EI - Enterprise Ireland is the government organisation responsible for the development and growth of Irish enterprises in world markets. It supports companies to grow, innovate and export.

Equity - Shareholding in a legal entity.

ERC - The European Research Council provides competitive funding for high quality, investigator-led science and engineering research conducted within the European Union.

HEA - The Higher Education Authority leads the strategic development of the Irish higher education and research system. It has a statutory responsibility, at central government level, for the effective governance and regulation of higher education institutions and the higher education system.

HEI - Higher Education Institution, namely: universities, institutes of technology and other colleges.

IAB - KTI Industry Advisory Board (representatives from industry, investors and DBEI)

IDA - IDA Ireland is Ireland's inward investment promotion agency. A non-commercial, semi-state body, the IDA promotes foreign direct investment into Ireland through a wide range of services. 

ILO - Industry Liaison Office is a name often applied to the team at an institute of technology responsible for managing knowledge transfer or technology transfer services including intellectual property, licensing, partnering with industry and the creation of new companies.

Incubator - A dedicated facility on the RPO campus in which early stage companies are housed and supported (pre-and post-formation). The facility may offer desk space, laboratory space or a mix of both.

Invention disclosure - The invention disclosure is the first actual recording by a TTO/ILO of an invention or a commercial opportunity which contains basic information, including supporting data, that helps to evaluate, subsequently protect and, potentially, commercialise the intellectual property associated with an invention.

IP - Intellectual Property  specific rights, whether registrable or not, which may include for example: patents, trademarks, service marks, registered designs, drawings, utility models, design rights, business ideas, concepts, inventions, discoveries, breeders rights, copyright (including the copyright in software in any code), database rights, know-how, trade secrets and other confidential information, technology, business or trade names and goodwill.

IRC - The Irish Research Council is an associated agency of the Department of Education and Skills. It funds research, education and skills development across all disciplines.

IUA - Irish Universities Association is the Irish universities representation, support and advocacy organisation for matters of shared sector concern.

KT - Knowledge Transfer – the sharing of expertise, capability, technology and intellectual property between the research base and industry or the public sector with the aim of developing new or improved products, processes and services that deliver societal and economic benefit.  May sometimes be referred to as KTT or TT.

KTI - Knowledge Transfer Ireland is the national office that helps business to benefit from access to Irish expertise and technology by making it simple to connect and engage with the research base in Ireland.

KTSF - Knowledge Transfer Stakeholder Forum - convened by KTI with representatives from the main research and innovation agencies, HEIs, IUA, THEA and DBEI.

KTT - Knowledge and Technology Transfer. May also be referred to as KT or TT.

Licence - A contract under which IP rights are transferred from one party to another for the purpose of commercialisation. 

Option - A contract under which a potential licensee is granted a period of exclusivity during which it can decide whether it may wish to take a licence to the intellectual property and negotiate the terms of a licence agreement. The option period may include evaluation of the IP by the potential licensee (including assessing the technology). This is may be called an Option & Evaluation Agreement.

PCT - Patent Cooperation Treaty – the treaty that makes it possible to seek patent protection for an invention simultaneously in each of a large number of countries by filing an “international” patent application.

Priority filing - The first filing of a patent application which will establish a priority date from which all national patents will derive. Depending on patent strategy, the priority filing may be made as a provisional application or national patent application or regional or international (PCT) patent application.

RPO - Research Performing Organisations - universities, institutes of technology and other publicly funded research institutions primarily publicly funded. 

SFI - Science Foundation Ireland funds oriented basic and applied research in the areas of science, technology, engineering and mathematics.

SME - Small to Medium Sized Enterprise – company with up to 249 employees that has either an annual turnover not exceeding €50 million or an annual balance sheet total not exceeding €43 million.

Spin-out - A spin-out company is a new incorporated business based primarily on knowledge and/or intellectual property originating from the RPO in which the RPO holds equity and/or has a licence to the IP.

Start-up - Company formed by staff or students from the RPO not based on knowledge or IP generated by the RPO and where there is no formal IP licence or equity share with the RPO. 

THEA - The Technological Higher Education Association is the advocacy and representative body of the third level institutes of technology in Ireland.

TT - Technology Transfer. May sometimes be referred to as KT or KTT.

TTO - Technology Transfer Office is the name often applied to the team at a university or institute of technology responsible for managing knowledge transfer or technology transfer services including intellectual property, licensing, partnering with industry and the creation of new companies generally known as spin-out companies.

TTSI - The Technology Transfer Strengthening Initiative is an Enterprise Ireland funding programme that serves to bolster the capacity and capability within the knowledge transfer system in Ireland. TTSI funding is allocated across eight consortia of TTOs, comprising of 26 research performing organisations that include universities, institutes of technology and state research bodies. The programme is managed and administered by Knowledge Transfer Ireland (KTI).