The university encourages collaborative research with industry. A frequent concern of businesses is the ability to secure needed rights to research results, patents and copyrights arising from their sponsored research. In most cases, issues of IP arising from industry-supported research at universities focus around balancing the interest of the sponsor, the university, inventors, and the Commonwealth of Virginia. The extent to which state resources are used to support the research is an important consideration in negotiating rights to IP, as is fulfilling the mission of sharing new discoveries widely. It is not in the interest of the university to simply give away intellectual property generated by faculty, students, and staff without appropriate compensation and protection of use and publication rights. The university has the responsibility to assure the citizens of the Commonwealth that it is a good manager of our resources and that without regard to the source of funding, intellectual property produced through research is appropriately commercialized and otherwise made available to the public.
The Office of Sponsored Programs has the authority to negotiate terms and conditions under sponsored research agreements, including rights to intellectual property. The Office of Sponsored Programs has the flexibility to negotiate intellectual property terms and conditions that balance and protect the interests of all parties.
Additional information is provided at Collaborative Research with Virginia Tech, Frequently Asked Questions.