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Overcoming expense of patent is first step in commercialising university research


A PROGRAM to fund the protection of intellectual property at universities has almost doubled the filing of provisional patents in the past three years.

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The unique Intellectual Property Management Initiative offers grants to initiate patent protection of inventions stemming from biological research at South Australia’s three main universities – The University of Adelaide, Flinders University and University of South Australia.

Dr Stefan Enderling, the business development manager at Bio Innovation SABio Innovation SA

IP Australia



“Universities have scarce resources that have to be diverted towards specific purposes,” said Dr Enderling. “In the past, this meant that patenting was often pushed to the side.”

Biological sciences patent attorney Mark O’Donnell said the Intellectual Property Management Initiative has nudged more South Australian researchers towards protecting their ideas.

“In the scheme of the cost of the research, four to seven thousand dollars doesn’t sound like that much,” he said. “But it’s a big expense for a university to take on, so having this fund is a fantastic thing for them.”

“Previously – because of the lack of funding – provisional patents just weren’t being filed, so research never had that chance of being commercialised.”

ITEK Ventures Pty Ltd

One of ITEK’s projects to benefit from the initiative is the Hand Held Cancer Probe, an ultrasensitive magnetic probe which detects small amounts of clinically introduced magnetic material in lymph nodes. The probe offers a non-radioactive approach for mapping the spread of cancers.

“The Intellectual Property Management Initiative covered the costs of filing the provisional patent, the International Type Search Report and the PCT application associated with this technology,” said Dr JC Tan, Commercial Manager at ITEK Ventures Pty Ltd.

“Although the Hand Held Cancer Probe project has not yet been licensed, we are currently talking with Australian and international industry about this technology,” said Dr Tan. 

This is a Creative Commons story from The Lead South Australia, a news service providing stories about innovation in South Australia. Please feel free to use the story in any form of media. The story sources are linked in with the copy and all contacts are willing to talk further about the story. Copied to Clipboard

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