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    VUB research and intellectual property rights

    If your research looks promising and you think it might lead to the development of a product, it is important to know about technology transfer and how the university may pass on intellectual property rights.

    What is technology transfer?

    Technology transfer or valorisation allows the university to transfer intellectual property rights on academic knowledge through sale or permission to a recipient third party, e.g. government institutions and businesses.

    The recipient party obtains the right to further develop the acquired knowledge into a product, which may then be distributed commercially.

    By decree, VUB owns any research results developed within the institution. In principle, this means that all academic knowledge developed by VUB researchers, and for which the university has at least partial property rights or other development rights, can be the subject of technology transfer. There are various technology transfer mechanisms, e.g. licensing, trade and establishing spin-offs.

    Why is technology transfer important?

    In addition to supplying education and research, the university has a third, valuable role: channeling the knowledge it develops into society.

    In concrete terms, technology transfer allows the VUB to establish research contracts with governmental organisations and businesses. Research contracts are a considerable source of funding for the university.

    Because of technology transfer, it is important that researchers at the VUB properly assess the development potential of their findings and know when to act if they decide to maintain ownership rights over their research.

    If your research has produced an interesting result, you are advised to contact VUB TechTransfer immediately. This multidisciplinary team will help assess the potential of your research and will let you know how to prevent technology transfer.

    Protecting your research

    VUB TechTransfer

    Contact VUB TechTransfer

    Researchers at the VUB may assess the potential of their discoveries and start a procedure to maintain property rights over their work.

    First protect, then publish

    There's a misconception that protecting your research from university technology transfer (especially the patenting of research results) also prevents publication. Nothing could be further from the truth! You can publish your work freely after taking steps to protect it from information transfer.

    If your research has produced an interesting result, you are advised to contact VUB TechTransfer immediately to determine whether your findings offer opportunities for development. Your research results may then be evaluated and protected. After this procedure, you are free to publish your results or disseminate them by any other means.

    Until you have protected your work, it is important to:

    • maintain secrecy about promising research results so as not to jeopardise future patent applications (or other forms of protection)
    • postpone publication
    • have any third party with whom you wish to discuss your research results sign a secrecy agreement

    Too many opportunities for technology transfer are lost, which is why timely consultation with VUB TechTransfer is essential to maximise the potential of your findings. Even when publication is urgent, there are ways to protect your results by a fast-track procedure. Protecting your research is worth every penny!

    Starting a technology transfer procedure

    The way in which academic knowledge may be subjected to technology transfer has been laid down in the Technology Transfer Regulations, which are available at the VUB TechTransfer website. Log in using the section ‘For Researchers’ and click on ‘Downloads’. You can find the regulations under ‘Codes’.

    The technology transfer procedure is fully financed by the Guarantee Fund of the Vrije Universiteit Brussel. The proceeds from technology transfer are used to reimburse out-of-pocket costs (not the services provided by the VUB TT).

    VUB TechTransfer is your go-to place for all your copyright and patent needs. Contact them for a copy of the Technology Transfer Regulations and the Declaration Form for Research Results with Technology Transfer Potential.

    Protecting your research

    VUB TechTransfer