Higher Education Research Commercialisation Intellectual Property Framework

The Higher Education Research Commercialisation (HERC) Intellectual Property (IP) Framework (the Framework) supports businesses and industry to work with universities on research and commercial projects.

The Framework

Working with universities to access research expertise and intellectual property (IP) can be complex. The Framework helps businesses by providing: 

  • step-by-step information to help you learn more about IP in university-industry collaborative research 
  • standardised agreement templates to assist in the negotiation process 

Use of the Framework is voluntary for all research commercialisation contracts and collaborations. 

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When to use the Framework

Collaborative research

When universities and businesses work together to develop new technologies or solve research problems.

Accessing technical services and equipment

When a business wants to commission a technical service or access equipment from a university.

Licensing IP

When a business wants to use intellectual property (IP) owned by a university for internal research or commercial purposes (including selling products and services).

Buying IP

When a business wants to purchase intellectual property (IP) from a university for internal or commercial use.

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While the information in this online education and guidance material is designed to assist users through the commercialisation journey, the material produced by the Department of Education is to be used for reference purposes only. It is recommended that when engaging in university-research commercialisation or collaboration activities that independent advice is sought by both parties. Independent legal advice will help ensure that individual circumstances are considered as well as commercial sensitivities.

Additionally, it is recommended that any industry partner who is receiving the Research and Development Tax Incentive and is utilising an HERC IP Framework agreement which involves IP will require separate independent advice. Independent advice will help ensure that agreements are set up which do not conflict with tax rules that underpin eligibility for programs that are foundational to government support for business R&D and commercialisation. It is recommended that any agreement is examined to ensure it does not conflict with the ATO’s expenditure ‘at risk’ rule or the ATO’s expenditure ‘on own behalf’ rule.