IP & Tech Transfer

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Empowering Quantum Innovation with a collaborative National Quantum IP Strategy

Quantum technology is rapidly evolving, with governments, multinationals, and startups diving into this strategic and potentially disruptive field. In this dynamic landscape, Intellectual Property (IP) plays a crucial role, serving as a strategic asset that adds value to owners' assets and secures long-term market positions. At Quantum Delta NL, we recognize the importance of fostering an IP strategy that not only supports technological advancements but also cultivates a sustainable ecosystem, giving the Netherlands (NL) economy a competitive edge. 

With this model, Quantum Delta NL fuels collaboration, drives innovation and accelerates tech transfer from universities to companies in the Netherlands. 

 
Foundations of a strategic approach to IP 

QDNL’s IP strategy is designed to further the advancement of quantum technologies within our three catalyst programmes: 

  1. Quantum Computing & Simulation (Cat 1) 

  2. National Quantum Network (Cat 2) 

  3. Quantum Sensing Applications (Cat 3) 

 

While individual parties within our ecosystem retain ownership of generated IP, QDNL collaborates closely with them to facilitate IP creation and exploitation at a national level. This strategic approach involves supporting technology roadmaps, fostering collaborations, and incentivizing IP exploitation to anticipate market needs and enhance industry relevance. 

The foundation of the QDNL IP strategy lies in a unique collaborative agreement signed by the key stakeholders in the ecosystem: University of Amsterdam, University of Eindhoven, Leiden University, University of Twente, Delft University of Technology, TNO, and CWI (research institute for mathematics and computer science). This agreement outlines tech transfer protocols for projects, (partially) funded by QNDL, aiming to bring together knowledge and expertise and expedite and enhance the process of technology transfer. 

Key Components of the QDNL IP Strategy 

  • Facilitating IP Transfer 
    We streamline the transfer of IP to newly formed startups, empowering them to thrive in the quantum technology landscape while ensuring that parties within our ecosystem retain a stake in their growth. 

  • Establishing Strategic Partnerships 
    We forge strong partnerships between knowledge institutions and companies, leveraging collective expertise to drive innovation and maximize the value of IP assets. 

  • Selective IP Licensing 
    We carefully license IP to third parties, prioritizing collaborations that contribute to the growth of the QDNL ecosystem and the broader quantum technology industry. 

  • Creating an IP Roadmap 
    We develop an IP roadmap tailored to the specific needs and potential of quantum technologies, guiding IP creation and exploitation to align with industry trends and market demands.

The IP Team: Connecting Lab to Market Success

QDNL has assembled a dedicated IP team comprising experienced business developers and IP managers from our ecosystem's parties. This team serves as the linchpin between IP creation in the lab and commercialization in the business world. In addition, an authoritative QDNL IP council will provide strategic guidance and advice on IP exploitation. This council collaborates closely with the IP team to ensure a strategic ecosystem approach to IP exploitation and effective IP management. 

A variety of crucial tasks for our IP team: 

  • Establish a centralized database housing the collective know-how and IP assets from the parties involved in our three catalyst programs. This repository forms the foundation for our IP quantum technology roadmap.

  • Raise awareness about the importance of IP and its potential for driving innovation and economic growth within our ecosystem. 

  • Actively stimulate IP creation.

  • Facilitate the sharing of best practices and information on inventions, guiding the most effective strategies for IP exploitation. 

IP exploitation within our ecosystem may occur in various ways, including the transfer of patents to startups with ecosystem parties retaining a minority stake. Alternatively, IP licensing to third parties who contribute essential knowledge to our ecosystem is another avenue explored. The IP Council evaluates each case individually to determine the feasibility and terms of such IP transfers. 

This approach allows us to streamline the tech transfer process, avoiding prolonged negotiations, and providing standardized IP deal terms to save time and resources for all involved parties. Exceptions to these standard terms are discussed within the IP Council. 

Our ultimate goal is to maximize the long-term benefits for the QDNL ecosystem. To achieve this, external investments in startups undergo thorough screening through the VIFO arrangements

IP Guidelines

Our IP guidelines outline the preferred ‘golden’ routes for IP exploitation within the QDNL ecosystem, ensuring consistency and strategic alignment. 

Deal Terms for Startups 

  • Full transfer of IP ownership to startups, with ecosystem parties acquiring a dilutive share. 

  • No royalty agreements. 

  • Support for startup formation through the Infinity program. 

  • Strategic IP rights remain with ecosystem parties. 

  • Dealterm template to facilitate spinning out within a month.

R&D Partnerships 

  • Third-party partnerships through in-kind and/or in-cash co-financing. 

  • Preference for valorization within the Netherlands or EU. 

IP Licensing 

  • Non-exclusive licensing is preferred. 

  • Exclusive licenses are considered for substantial investments in the Netherlands. 

For detailed guidelines, download our comprehensive PDF document here. 

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