The UILO assists researchers at U of L maximize the impact of their research by assisting with the transformation of IP into new tools, processes, products and treatments.
Factors such as the nature of the discovery, the sector in which it will be used, the wishes of the inventor, and the broad potential benefits of the technology are all key components in determining how a new discovery can best be transferred from U of L into the broader innovation system. As this system evolves, so do the practices of the UILO, from developing and embracing new channels of dissemination, to creating global access principles to ensuring that the University best serves the interests of its academic, local, national and global communities.
The translation of academic research to products and processes that benefit society rarely follows a linear path. The research and technology-transfer/knowledge-mobilization capacity at U of L should therefore be considered an important part of a cycle in which external organizations, including industry partners play an important role. Innovations arise from both basic and sponsored research activities, undergo assessment by the UILO, and may be transferred or otherwise made available to external parties. Specific technologies may take any one of a number of paths, often generating several artifacts that progress through different routes in the process, before reaching their commercial goals.
The diagram below provides a simplified illustration of the innovation cycle at U of L and the UILO's involvement in assessing, developing, and partnering technologies. Note that in many cases the process becomes circular, with licensed technologies being the basis on ongoing research relationships.
The overall commercialization and knowledge mobilization processes can be broken down broadly into the following phases: