Iowa State University, University of Iowa Offer Exclusive Research Licensing Option to Industry

News Releases


Iowa State University and the University of Iowa announced today a new research sponsorship option that will allow industry to negotiate exclusive licenses to breakthroughs that grow out of their partnerships with university researchers. The new option spurs increased partnerships between the Regents universities and industry by giving companies more tools to protect their research investments and helps to increase the rate of technology transfer to the private sector.

 While companies are often eager to engage with university research talent and resources to help them compete in a global marketplace, one barrier has been the traditional licensing agreements that universities use to assign rights to innovations that come out of sponsored projects. The new sponsored funding option allows companies to pre-negotiate a license at fixed rates to any inventions or software arising from the project the company sponsors.
The sponsor pays the full cost of research plus a small option fee to obtain worldwide rights to the innovation, as well as the right to sublicense. The new option provides a cost-effective way for companies to reap the benefits of discovery by allowing them to secure rights to the technology for their competitive advantage.
The two universities worked together on the new intellectual property option to offer consistent and unified terms to companies interested in investing in university research.
The campus presidents and research leaders said that adding to the contracting options for sponsored research promotes a culture of collaboration that will have lasting benefits for the state of Iowa:
Steven Leath, president, Iowa State University
“We’ve created flexible solutions in Iowa State’s sponsored funding agreements that better meet the needs of our industry partners while also helping to rapidly move our research discoveries to the marketplace.”
Sally Mason, president, University of Iowa
“We want to move our research into the market as quickly and easily as possible. We want to partner with Iowa companies, so they can benefit from the technologies discovered at the University of Iowa and help stimulate economic activity.”
Daniel Reed, vice president for research and economic development, University of Iowa
“Competing in the 21st century will require our universities to be more nimble in building relationships with industry. Streamlining the pipeline that carries university technologies to market is one strategy we are employing to build these critical relationships.”
David Oliver, interim vice president for research and economic development, Iowa State University
“We know it makes a big difference to industry sponsors when we get the contracts structured correctly. With this new contract option, we hope to attract more industry partners to increase our number of sponsored research agreements, extend our research discoveries and make a positive impact on Iowa’s economy.”
More information about research licensing options at the University of Iowa and Iowa State University is available at and at

Steven Leath, president, Iowa State University, (515) 294-2042,

Sally Mason, president, University of Iowa, (319) 335-3549,

Daniel Reed, vice president for research and economic development, University of Iowa, (319) 225-2132,

David Oliver, interim vice president for research and economic development, Iowa State University, (515) 294-1785,

Sandy Clarke, Iowa State research and economic development communications, (515) 294-6257,

Richard Lewis, University of Iowa Communication and Marketing, (319) 384-0012,


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