UU Innovation

FAQ

Here are answers to the most common questions that UU Innovation receives regarding commercialization and our commercialization support.

Contact us if you don’t find what you need.

I have an idea, how can you help me?

We can help evaluate the commercial potential of your idea and provide support to find financing, training, networking, etc. It is important to know, however, that you, as the researcher, own the rights to your research results as long as you have not agreed to surrender that ownership. In other words, you have the right and the responsibility to commercialize your research. We are a support organization at Uppsala University and offer cost-free and confidential support as long as your idea is in an “early phase” (i.e. an idea before you have external financing or paying customers, both of which imply a more advanced commercial phase).
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How developed must my idea be before I contact you?

Our support often occurs early on, parallel with ongoing research, and before an idea has developed. There are no requirements that an idea must be “developed” before first contact, rather it is often easier for us to help you if you discuss your idea sooner rather than later. Don’t hesitate to contact us even if you just want general advice.
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What is the risk that others will be told if I share my idea with you?

Our advice, and discussions with you, is confidential.
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Who can receive your support?

We primarily support researchers and student at Uppsala University but even other university employees are welcome to contact us for advice and support.
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Does your support cost anything?

UU Innovation is a part of the university. Therefore, our services are cost-free to those who work at the university.
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Do I need a patent before I contact you?

No, absolutely not. We would rather you contact us as early as possible if you have a research idea with business potential. The earlier you discuss your idea with us, the better we can help improve the business possibilities. Together we can develop a strategy of what to do next, e.g. publishing or applying for financing in relation to an eventual patent application.
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I have already published my idea, therefore, there exists no other opportunities for my idea?

If an idea is published it often cannot be protected by a patent, but there are exceptions, so contact us immediately. Even if an idea cannot be patented, there can be other commercial possibilities. All business models are not dependent on a patent or other protection. We can help you explore other market opportunities for your idea.
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How does your support work?

Depending on your needs we schedule a first meeting at UU Innovation where you meet our business advisors and/or IPR specialists. There are no expectations at the first meeting, we listen and ask questions and together agree on the next step based on your needs. We have access to a large business network, including branch and other organizations, that can be contacted, if applicable.
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How often do we need to meet?

Together we create a development plan for your idea. How often we meet is often dependent on your needs and availability. Responsibility to move the process forward is your responsibility, but we can help with business coaching according to the agreed upon plan.
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How involved do I have to be? 

Because of professor’s privilege (lärarundantaget) you own the rights of your research results as long as you have not entered into an agreement to the contrary. This means you have the freedom, and responsibility, to commercialize your research idea. We exist to provide support for that endeavor. UU Innovation does not possess any resources to take your idea further alone, so it is imperative that you are interested in developing your idea. Often is it not the researcher that has the time, or possibility, to develop the idea to a commercial phase. We can help you find people needed to build a business team around your idea.
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What is commercialization?

To commercialize research results is a form of research utilization and involves creating new or better goods, services, methods or processes that are needed in society. Thereby, can the results of publically-financed research contribute to an increased quality of life and societal development.
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Why should I commercialize my research?

Besides contributing to an increased quality of life and societal development by developing new or better goods, services, methods or processes, you can also create collaborative projects, both long and short in duration, with public and private organizations. These collaborations can have a positive impact on your research and generate new ideas, contacts and/or financial support. Your idea can even help create employment opportunities in existing or new companies and thereby contribute to growth in Sweden.
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Do I have to start a company?

No, there is no such requirement. Because of professor’s privilege you as the researcher, have the right, and responsibility, to decide how your project develops. We provide information about different types of commercialization and starting a company is only one of many possibilities.  Licensing and other forms of company collaboration are other possibilities. Building and running a company implies a financial responsibility and we can help you evaluate the business potential and develop (work through) the idea to decide if building a company is the best way to take your idea to market.
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I have a company already, how can you help me?

As long as the company has not started, or is not close to starting, a commercial phase with external investors and paying customers, we can help you with advice, possible financing, contacts, and other activities to increase the commercial attractiveness of your idea.
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I would like to apply for a patent, how do I do this?

Our IP advisors provide qualified advice to researchers and students at Uppsala University. You can contact one of our business advisors or schedule a meeting with one of our IP experts to determine the patentability of your idea and receive guidance for a patent application. A good patent application is often supported with support and evidence that can differ from a publication. Therefore, it is advisable for you to contact us early in the process, even before an idea is completely thought through, to discuss what is needed for commercially relevant patent protection. You can even receive information about patent application costs, and contact information to a patent specialist who can help you complete your application.
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What does IP stand for?

IP stands for intellectual property or intangible rights and includes patent, design protection, trademark protection, and copyright. In practice, we can even include domain names, know-how in the form of trade secrets, and database information.
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Who does an invention belong to?

Because of professor’s privilege employees of Swedish universities and colleges retain ownership of their own results, and therewith, a possibility, as a private person, to develop research-based ideas commercially. Students are not considered employees and have, as private individuals, ownership of their ideas and inventions.
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What rights do I have if I cooperate with companies or other universities?

Your rights are dependent on how the contract is written. We can help you look as possible contracts and determine how they affect you. If there is no agreement, we can help you determine what is necessary to consider when entering into a contract, i.e. secrecy, publishing, future use and utilization of results.
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Is there financing available to develop my idea?

Together we can help identify different financing alternatives. Early financing is often used to identify barriers and opportunities that can affect idea development.
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Can you help me write an application regarding an idea with a commercial focus?

We can read your application and identify areas that need to be strengthened, or reduced, so your application is more clear and concise. To be of assistance it is important that we are included long before the application deadline.
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I am a student, can you help me realize my business idea?

Yes, if your business idea is suitable for some form of IP protection (e.g. patent), or if you need to verify your results. We are specialized in supporting research-based business ideas that are in an early phase. For other forms of commercial support we cooperate with Drivhuset Uppsala.
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How many use your services?

Each year UU Innovation meets a couple of hundred researchers and students from all three of the University’s disciplinary areas. We evaluate approximately 100 business ideas annually.
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What background do your business advisors possess?

UU Innovation has knowledgeable and motivated business advisors and most have experience in both academic and commercial areas. A number of them have doctorate degrees. We have expertise in a variety of disciplines and the ability to understand diverse issues, even those from different research areas.
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Can you come to my institution/research group and talk about how you can help us?
Absolutely, contact us and we will organize a visit!
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