University of Georgia

New licensing program to foster industry collaborations

University of Georgia researcher Hitesh Handa with graduate students

The University of Georgia now offers companies sponsoring research three additional ways to license intellectual property developed in the course of their research collaborations. The new program, Industry Express, makes negotiating research agreements a faster and more transparent process that also eliminates uncertainty about licensing costs.

Over the past five years, more than 350 companies in industries ranging from pharmaceuticals and biotechnology to solar energy and field crops have sponsored research at UGA. During this time, industry-funded research expenditures at UGA have increased sevenfold.

To build on this momentum, the Industry Express program was developed by the Office of Research Industry Engagement team and led by Innovation Gateway. As the university’s licensing and startup arm, Innovation Gateway licenses UGA discoveries with commercial potential—such as new vaccines, therapeutics or engineering technologies—to industry.

“This new program benefits our industry partners by streamlining the processes of contracting and licensing sponsored research,” said Innovation Gateway Director Derek Eberhart. “Our goal is to get technologies that arise from UGA research into the hands of people who can develop them into products for the greatest impact.”

In addition, Industry Express benefits UGA researchers by making it easier for companies to collaborate by sponsoring research, Eberhart said.

The three Industry Express agreements offer companies an exclusive license in each case, with flexibility for the duration of the license and the payment terms. Each alternative includes a defined-upfront license fee set at a percentage of the total sponsored project budget, which means companies know exactly how much it will cost.

Many industry collaborators are familiar with the traditional option, which is still available. With the traditional agreement, there is no upfront fee, and sponsors have exclusive access to negotiate patent rights for up to six months after project completion.

“We want to make it as easy as possible to work with industry. This helps to expand our research opportunities and is in keeping with our land-grant mission,” said UGA Vice President for Research David Lee. “These changes are meant to signal UGA is open for business.”

Visit for more information about Industry Express agreements.