Industrial partner

Industrial partner
See also

Industrial partner means a kind of a business association that involves one or more associates offering their expertise and competencies to a company as an investment to an enterprise instead of money[1].

Industrial partnership examples[edit]

An example of an industrial partner could be a non-commercial organization, such as a university or an industrial organization such as a pharmaceutical company[2].

The role of a company is such an arrangement is to supply a specified percentage of the research cost. Both a university and a commercial company share their knowledge regarding to the subject of the research. A university includes the expertise and specialty knowledge provided by the company into its research, while the company incorporates to their work the data received from the university[3].

For example, a pharmaceutical company may decide to join an industrial partnership with a university by providing funds towards research on some medication. In return the university will share the research results with the company[4].

Intellectual property ownership[edit]

Usually the ownership of the intellectual property of research results obtained by means of public funds is plainly determined by applicable policies. We are dealing with another situation when a university collaborates with a company and the research conducted in a university is sponsored by a company[5].

IP ownership in sponsored research[edit]

There is no one, international approach to such cases and worldwide countries and institutions developed their own ways to deal with such situations. There are cases when it's a university that owns the inventions or results of the research regardless of the level of contribution made by the industrial partner. Some universities decide to leave this matter to be specified in individual contract negotiations directly with the industrial partner or agree on attributive ownership on the basis of the level of contributions made by each side. The issue of intellectual property ownership goes conjointly with decisions on whether a commercial partner would[6]:

  • obtain an exclusive or non-exclusive license to commercialize the invention
  • have to pay royalties
  • be allowed to license the technology to others


  1. Frias S., Fajardo C. L., (2007), page 45
  2. Nezu R., (2007), page 20
  3. De Werra J., (2013), page 187
  4. Yu., H., (2016), page 110
  5. Aplin T. F., Davis J., (2017), page 14
  6. Nezu R., (2007), page 21


Author: Andżelika Stefańska