Research Grants and Contracts has standard confidentiality agreements to cover discussions with visitors from a company or other external sponsor, potential collaborators or licensees. These can be one way, where the other party needs to know about your research, or two way to cover sharing of information in both directions.
In many cases, the value of IP will be lost if attention is not paid to ensuring the correct level of confidentiality and the careful timing of disclosures. For example, Background IP may be extremely valuable in helping you and the University to win research funding, but such funding may be seriously prejudiced if you do not ensure that discussions with research sponsors take place under documented conditions of confidentiality. If you wish to conduct such discussions, contact the IP Manager who will ensure that a suitable confidentiality agreement is put in place prior to any disclosures.
Likewise, if you believe that you have sufficient results and data to support a patent application, contact the IP Manager or one of the Business Development Managers in the Enterprise & Innovation Office before you discuss your results with anyone else. They can conduct searches to establish whether or not the results are indeed likely to be novel and therefore patentable and review competing technologies and the potential market place to come to a view of the likely value of the invention.
Funding, grants and contracts
Who to contact
Intellectual Property and Legal Manager
Contracts and Sponsorship Manager