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The Higher Education Research Commercialisation (HERC) Intellectual Property (IP) Framework Practical Guide is a resource for those undertaking transactions between universities and industry partners.

The Practical Guide helps researchers, technology transfer and research office professionals, start-ups, SMEs, large businesses, investors and innovation intermediaries to understand the situations where the use of the HERC IP Framework is useful and describes the considerations that might apply. It also provides information to help guide those situations where there is flexibility in how the HERC IP Framework is applied and how this can be used as a starting point for drafting and discussions between collaborating parties. 

The Practical Guide is based on Australian and international best practice and draws upon guidance published by a wide range of trusted publicly available resources including IP Australia, Knowledge Commercialisation Australasia, the Department of Industry, Science, Energy and Resources, and WIPO.


While the information in this education and guidance material is designed to assist users through the commercialisation journey, the material produced by the Department of Education, Skills and Employment 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. In particular, 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.