Putting public research to work for Ireland

The 2012 Protocol was developed by the Department of Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation working with other Government Departments and informed by a dedicated group of experts from industry, the venture capital community, Technology Transfer Offices, Research Performing Organisations (RPOs), the Irish Universities Association (IUA) and the State research funders. An independent legal review of the Protocol was also undertaken.

The Protocol deals primarily with collaborative research, where industry and Research Performing Organisations work together and, in particular, where industry and the State share the cost of the research. It also deals with industry access to the results of research that is 100% State funded, and contract research where industry pays the full cost of the research it commissions.

It applies equally to all forms of research and development activity, from pure and applied research through to incremental and near-market development.

The Protocol will continue to evolve to ensure that it delivers on its objectives and is aligned with the objectives of the State in respect of its research funding.

Key features of the new approach include:

  • Creation of a central Technology Transfer Office - now Knowledge Transfer Ireland (KTI). 
  • Commercial agreements with RPOs are quick and easy to set up, through the use of standardised IP terms around IP ownership, access and publication.This helps industry parties know what arrangements to expect up front, right from the start. 
  • Commercial terms are generous. The Protocol also sets out generous commercial terms to encourage industry to engage with the public research system.
  • IP is managed in a professional way. The Protocol sets out a series of steps for the introduction of processes to ensure IP is professionally managed throughout the public research sector, building on the current good practice that exists in many of Ireland’s Research Performing Organisations. 

IP Policy will be flexible and responsive to the needs of stakeholders. The national IP policy and guidelines set out in the Protocol will be progressively improved through KTI working with stakeholders to take into account the experience gained from commercialisation activities.