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During this 4-day online training course, participant interaction will be one of the main teaching styles applied. Presented by experts in the field, much of the learning will be conveyed through case studies, break-out groups and discussions.

Why Join This Course?

Participant interaction is one of the main teaching styles applied during this 4-day course. Presented by experts in the field, much of the learning will be conveyed through case studies, break-out groups and discussions. The results of each group session will be discussed among your peers with an analysis of the results provided by the course leaders.

The course leaders have been specifically chosen for the experience and success in this field, and they aim to create an informal learning environment which helps develop your knowledge and your network.

    Who Should Attend?

    This course is designed for anyone wishing to expand their skills and deepen their knowledge of the intricacies of research and development collaborations. An appreciation of managing complex negotiations is useful when attending this course as it aims to expand the know-how and expertise necessary for negotiating complex and sometimes troublesome contracts.

    Learning Objectives

    • Handling communication between academia and industry within collaborations
    • Managing expectations
    • Improving your negotiation skills
    • Nurturing alliances
    • Handling IP within collaborations

    Course Topics

    • Stakeholder management
    • Creating a win win
    • Legal aspects
    • Negotiation
    • Programme
    • Speakers


    • Mon 07 February 2022

      • 09:00 - 09:45    Welcome, course introduction, brief introductions of speakers and participants

        This short module introduces the course, course directors, and trainers and participants.

        The content is based on the materials in the course brochure, the course programme and biographies of the trainers. After this module , the real course starts via a series of short modules, cases, homework sessions, pre and post-reading exercises.

      • 09:45 - 10:15    Getting started

        A presentation on the different forms of collaboration and cooperation that we have with industry, and the various forms of agreement that we use to define the relationship, including: Material Transfer Agreements, Consultancy Agreements and Research Collaboration Agreements.

        This session will guide you through selecting the right form of agreement to align expectations and avoiding conflict.

      • 10:15 - 10:30    Coffee Break

      • 10:30 - 11:15    Deriving fair value from foreground IP

        Finding the right IP structure is only half the battle. We are still left with the issue of valuing the IP; when we have little knowledge of the IP’s true value. What should we do? Should we take the academics’ opinion, consult with the Technology Transfer Office or trust the company? Or should we insist on a ‘wait and see’ strategy in which the discussion is deferred until we know what has been ‘invented’, and its commercial value. 

        How can we avoid meaningless ‘agree to agree’ clauses in which one or other party is left exposed? What tools can we use, and which structure do we choose for the payments?

      • 11:15 - 11:30    Coffee Break

      • 11:30 - 12:30    IP clauses: the different possibilities

        We will introduce the different ‘parameters’ of IP clauses then break into small groups to discuss a number of cases that exemplify different types of intellectual property scenarios.

        Group work will feed into a wider discussion on the different ways in which IP rights can be managed and the most appropriate solutions for a given scenario. We will also discuss how to manage the extreme opening positions that we are often presented with and the importance of negotiating ‘rights’ rather than ‘ownership’. Differentiating ‘background’ from ‘foreground’ and the imperative of maintaining academic freedom to research and collaborate.

        Once we have determined how to manage the IP rights and the solutions that best match any given scenario, we face the challenge of drafting clauses that are clear, unambiguous and workable for a long-term relationship. Group work will be used here to share experiences, stimulate discussion and wording.

        The end point will be an understanding of IP clauses we can use and the confidence to negotiate them.

      • 12:30 - 12:45    Coffee Break

      • 12:45 - 13:45    IP clauses: the different possibilities (Part 2)

        A follow on from the morning session.

      • 13:45 - 14:00    Wrap up and end of day 1 programme

    • Tue 08 February 2022

      • 09:00 - 09:45    Managing the IP when projects overlap

        Most researchers are involved in multiple collaborations; both simultaneously and sequentially. So are businesses. Part of our role is to ensure that there are no conflicts and to ensure that academic freedom (to work with others) is preserved. In this session, we will look at two real-life cases to explore which problems can occur when we try to manage the many different sources of funding and contractual obligations that bind researchers.

      • 09:45 - 10:00    Coffee Break

      • 10:00 - 10:15    Case study introduction: Inchworm (part 1)

        An academic wants to develop a relationship with a company; the Contracts Officer is brought in to advise on the terms of a collaboration. Is it possible to develop a win-win scenario?

      • 10:15 - 11:15    Breakout groups 1

        Preparation on the case study in subgroups / breakout rooms for each role, followed by negotiations round 1.

      • 11:15 - 11:30    Coffee Break

      • 11:30 - 12:30    Breakout groups 2

        Preparation on the case study in subgroups / breakout rooms for each role after second brief, followed by Negotiation round 2.

      • 12:30 - 12:45    Case study: results processing

        Processing the results of the case study per subgroup

      • 13:00 - 14:00    Collaborative agreements as the bedrock of research relationships

        Successful collaborations are built on mutual trust, a common understanding of the mission and a balance of interests for all partners. This session will highlight the motivation for, and topics of, industrial collaborations with science partners and others. Examples such as bilateral collaborations, scientific networks, with and without public funding, and recent cases of joint labs on campus or industrial sites. These collaborations require well-balanced agreements. Possible hurdles include: EU state-aid regulations, which distinguish between contract work and cooperation, subcontracting in publicly funded projects, and IP regulations.

    • Wed 09 February 2022

      • 09:00 - 09:45    Case study feedback – Inchworm (part 2)

        Case study reporting: Discussion on the issues raised - what was trivial and what was problematic?

      • 09:45 - 10:00    Coffee Break

      • 10:00 - 11:00    Building and bulldozing corporate alliances

        The pinnacle of any collaboration is the ‘strategic alliance’. These emerge over time as the relationship, built on mutual trust and knowledge, develops. That relationship is built slowly by honest dialogue, mutual need and generous exchange; it can be destroyed quickly by opportunism, bureaucracy and misunderstanding. In this session, we examine the role of the Contract Manager in both nurturing and destroying such alliances.

      • 11:00 - 11:15    Coffee Break

      • 11:15 - 12:15    Keeping track of IP - open innovation

        What happens once the collaboration agreement has been signed? Is it filed never to be seen again or is it monitored and controlled? Who does what at your university and does the Contract Manager have any responsibility to track old agreements? How do we manage the obligation to grant access rights in EU projects and how do we follow up on the options we have granted in the contracts?

      • 12:15 - 12:45    Coffee Break

      • 12:30 - 12:45    Case study introduction: Piggy in the middle, maintaining the respect and co-operation of all stakeholders (including academics)

        We work in an intensely busy environment where emails (with large ‘cc lists’) have become a common form of communication replacing face to face meetings and leading to all kinds of ‘buck-passing’. We must operate and perform in the middle of all this poor communication, rise above it and focus on the task: the deal. Often, we act with very little real authority. We have the power to sign off, but will be reluctant to do so as long as someone, somewhere, has expressed concerns.

        In this session, we look at a sponsored studentship negotiation that went badly wrong, and ask whether the Contracts Officer could have done anything about it?

      • 12:45 - 13:45    Working on the case study in subgroups

      • 13:45 - 14:00    Processing the results of the case study subgroups

    • Thu 10 February 2022

      • 09:00 - 09:45    Feedback on the case study: Piggy in the middle

      • 09:45 - 10:00    Coffee Break

      • 10:00 - 11:00    Different possibilities on how to draft clauses on conflict resolution

        In this session, we will explore the different options regarding conflict resolution arbitration, ordinary courts and examine the pros and cons of the different venues and choices of law. As a Contracts Manager, is there anything you can do to avoid the project ending in conflict?

      • 11:00 - 11:15    Coffee Break

      • 11:15 - 12:15    When things go wrong

        Sometimes the collaboration will not have a happy ending. It can be a violation of the contract terms, or a different interpretation of the wording. Whatever the problem is, it will almost certainly create unpleasant conversations and shall require difficult negotiations to reach an agreement on how to resolve the problem. In the session, you will be presented with several real-life scenarios and given a role to play in trying to solve them.

      • 12:15 - 12:30    Coffee Break

      • 12:30 - 13:15    Discussions between academic and business

        How should we manage the interface between the academic and the business? It is our role to define th relationship on paper when we may be seen to hinder rather than help? How can we frame our input as helpful in order to be valued by both parties? How do we combine the role as facilitator and ‘policeman’?

        This session is based around several cases / real live experience. You will hear both sides of the story, derived from the people who were involved, and discuss how they might have managed to achieve a win-win situation.

      • 13:15 - 14:00    Course wrap-up and evaluation

        Review of the learning achieved in the course, a wrap up of the teaching and evaluation of the work.


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