Combating COVID-19 – Oxford’s highest research priority

8th April 2020

Oxford University has adopted revised guidance to accelerate the licensing of relevant intellectual property (IP) for the duration of the COVID-19 pandemic, to avoid unnecessary delays or missed opportunities to understand, manage and protect against the threat posed.

The academic research community is a key contributor as skilled resources are mobilised to address the COVID-19 pandemic. Working in close collaboration with colleagues in clinical medicine, researchers have deployed their skills and resources rapidly in order to understand and respond to this unprecedented threat.

Oxford University and OUI have issued fresh guidance for access to University of Oxford IP, intended to avoid any unnecessary delay in adoption.

  • Expedited access is offered to enable global deployment at scale of associated products and services to address the COVID-19 pandemic
  • By default OUI will offer non-exclusive, royalty-free licences to support free of charge, at-cost or cost + limited margin supply as appropriate, for the duration of the pandemic.

Full details of the principles now being applied are reproduced in full at https://innovation.ox.ac.uk/technologies-available/technology-licensing/expedited-access-covid-19-related-ip/.

Looking ahead, separate licence terms will be agreed for commercial sales once the pandemic has passed, allowing the University to maintain its investment in research and teaching.

Commenting on this announcement Professor Patrick Grant, Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Research at the University of Oxford said, “In these exceptional circumstances, it is vital that we remove barriers to getting our knowledge and innovations into the hands of those best placed to roll out practical solutions to the problems posed by the pandemic. We are fully committed to ensuring that the potential benefits of our Covid-19 research are quickly accessible regionally, nationally and across the world.”

Dr Adam Stoten, Chief Operating Officer of Oxford University Innovation added, “Our immediate response to the pandemic is of paramount importance. By rapidly developing, and now applying, these revised principles we can balance that imperative with the need for a sustainable approach for longer term commercial deployment of University-generated IP.”

Oxford University has over 500 staff working on finding a solution to the problems posed by this pandemic, see https://www.research.ox.ac.uk/Area/coronavirus-research for more details.

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