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Monday, 23 July 2012

Press Release: Bonaccord on improving the commercialisation of University Intellectual Property in University-Industry Collaboration Book


Edinburgh-based Patricia Barclay of Bonaccord Ecosse Ltd is a leading intellectual property (IP) lawyer working globally with life science and other innovative companies. She shows how to cost-effectively improve industry-academic collaborations with a resulting impact on innovation, wealth creation and commercialisation in a ground-breaking book on the commercial impact of university innovation. She advocates improving academics’ understanding of commercial needs, clearer contracts with more emphasis on record keeping and communication and more transparent dispute resolution procedures.

July 2012, Edinburgh, UK. As university-industry research collaboration increases to generate new funding Professor Graham Richards has brought together leading experts to create a book that reveals the current state of intellectual property exploitation by universities: “University Intellectual Property: a Source of Finance and Impact”  (published Harriman House July 2012). Professor Richards is a pioneering chemist and as founder of Oxford University’s technology transfer company is very much the father of UK technology transfer. He has worked with spin-out companies since 1988.
Contributors include a senior judge, a patent agent, an economist and an ethicist. Scottish lawyer, Patricia Barclay of Bonaccord Ecosse was invited to look at the issue from the point of view of a business interested in obtaining knowledge transfer from academia based on her extensive experience of industry-academic collaborations throughout the UK, Europe and the US.
She picks out three inexpensive areas of improvement to boost innovation and commercialisation, to the benefit of all parties involved, and the future prosperity of the country.
1. More sharing of expertise between the universities’ technology transfer offices to support unusual collaborations.
Barclay points out that different industry sectors have different risk profiles and flashpoints which impacts on the licensing and contract agreements and notes there is already an increasing tendency for universities to share expertise and calls for more to be done to encourage this.
She also calls for institutions to be more flexible in their handling of non standard situations noting that as academics increasingly move between different jobs and institutions and collaborations between multiple institutions become more common using the same terms that as where all the IP is developed within one institution is simply inappropriate
2. Better handling of complaints from industrial collaborators. 
University Technology Transfer Offices may foster industry-academic liaison, but have no powers to control the academic or force resolution if there is a dispute. Fear of lack of effective redress may discourage SMEs in particular from engaging with academia. To help prevent that happening Barclay advocates giving investors a due diligence package to help create a more robust industry-academia partnership agreement.  She also recommends using contracts that cover regular review and reporting of scientific and financial records, and set out clear expectations and obligations accepted by the academic, in addition to establishing a transparent dispute resolution clause.
She also advocates adopting the US practice of separating key roles in any spin-out company and cites a case where an individual with multiple roles made it difficult to assign liability, despite clear misappropriation of funds.
Lastly, she advocates dropping internal investigations by various departments in favour of a single complaints procedure to handle all types of complaint transparently to boost investor confidence in academic collaboration.
3. Better business training for budding entrepreneurs.
Barclay says that universities would improve the impact of their knowledge transfer by better equipping their students for subsequent work in industry. They generally provide ad hoc training and entrepreneurship clubs that may be interesting, useful and/or enjoyable, but take-up is patchy and they fail to provide a comprehensive grounding in business methods and practices that would allow young scientists to have a more immediate impact in the workplace or to set up their own businesses.
She suggests a variety of routes to provide better training, including using distance learning techniques and webcasts to establishing facilitated self-help groups along the Mastermind or alternative board models popular with businesspeople.
ENDS (background information follows)
For further information, photos or comment, please contact: Patricia Barclay at Bonaccord Ecosse Limited, 31 Merchiston Park, Edinburgh, EH10 4PW. UK. www.bonaccord.eu

About Bonaccord and Patricia Barclay


·         Bonaccord was established in Edinburgh by Patricia Barclay and services clients throughout the UK, Europe and the US.
·         Patricia Barclay studied law at Edinburgh and Oxford Universities.
·         Worked at Pfizer in the UK and US, then General Counsel of Vernalis plc, Ferring Group and Solvay Pharmaceuticals. As such, she has been involved in decision making at the highest level in very different organisations.
·         She has negotiated complex global licensing and cooperation agreements, mergers and acquisitions, fundraising, the management of intellectual property, public affairs and the establishment and development of internal services and departments.
·         She has hands on experience of the pharmaceutical, animal health, medical device, chemical, food science and cosmetics sectors.
·         Patricia is a solicitor in Scotland and in 2010 she became the first Scottish solicitor to be honoured with a fellowship by the American Bar Association.
·         She trained in mediation with the International Institute for Conflict Prevention & Resolution in New York, Pepperdine University of California and Core in Scotland. She is a member of the Association for Conflict Resolution and works to their ethical code. She is a member of the mediation panel of the World Intellectual Property Organisation and of the Scottish Mediation Network.
·         She has served as Chair of the IBA Mediation Techniques Committee for whom she developed a book of practical essays and is currently secretary to the IBA Healthcare and Lifesciences Committee.
·         She is a popular speaker with professional and academic audiences and has presented on various topics around the world.
·         Her interests include the textile arts and raising funds for St Andrew’s Clinics for Children (Scottish Charity 140214) which provides essential healthcare for children in sub Saharan Africa.





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Press Release: Electrum’s Automated SRRI Financial Reporting for UCITS Fund Managers’ KII Documents

Edinburgh, UK. Electrum, the leading automated documents provider, has developed a new system for producing and updating SRRI values for UCITS * funds. SRRIs (Synthetic Risk Reward Indicator) are the crucial rating for assessing investment risk. They are contained in the new mandatory Key Investor Information (KII) document that has to be provided directly to all investors in UCITS funds from July 2012.

*UCITS are investment funds categorised as Undertakings for Collective Investment in Transferable Securities.

Examples of the SRRI standardised investment risk ratings:
  • ·         1 is minimal risk (like National Savings)
  • ·         4 is a medium risk that may fluctuate in value (for example: property)
  • ·         7 flags serious risk (such as commodities)




The KII documents are designed to make it easier for investors to compare funds from different providers from across the EU, by standardising and streamlining the presentation of key information.

“Stuart Harper, Electrum’s MD says, “Now that most fund managers have published their Key Investor Information documents (KIIDs) in readiness for the July deadline; the collective sigh of relief is almost palpable. However, many are only now discovering that the pain is not over, since the UCITS IV regulations that introduced the KIID also brought an obligation to keep the KIID up to date. Most of the content of the KIID needs relatively infrequent reviews, but the Synthetic Risk and Reward Indicator (SRRI) category needs constant attention. Electrum’s KiiDocs SRRI Monitor automates both the calculation and monitoring of the SRRI values to ensure that fund managers KII documents stay up to date, automatically complying with the new rules for managing UCITS.

“For example, the SRRI Monitor calculates the SRRI values weekly, tracking the calculated value of the fund against the previously published value for each fund. This information is summarised in an “at a glance” dashboard, backed up by a weekly report that demonstrates the length of time any values of funds have strayed from the published values.”
Electrum’s SRRI Monitor provides a complete audit trail containing the entire history of all data loaded, including revisions, plus all the SRRI values calculated, with direct links back to the source data. It allows manual entry of SRRIs for exotic fund types (e.g. structured products) and users can view or download data & SRRI values for all dates and funds.
Electrum’s SRRI Monitor is a hosted application accessed using a web browser. New clients can start using it immediately as no locally-installed software is required.  Data entry is via familiar Excel spreadsheets. The all-inclusive annual fee for the SRRI Monitor is based on the number of share classes monitored. There are no set-up charges. (Electrum is at http://www.electrum.co.uk/).


ENDS. Background information follows.
Screenshots of
the SRRI Monitor on request.
For further information and comment, please contact: Sandy Wood, Business Development Manager, Electrum. t. 0131 4543507
Electrum Multimedia Limited: 58-59 Timberbush, Edinburgh, EH6 6QH,
United Kingdom

Background Information on Electrum (http://www.electrum.co.uk/)

Electrum is a Microsoft Gold Partner that specialises in automated document and reporting solutions for the financial services sector.
Electrum has clients in major financial centres in the UK, Europe and the US.
Established in 1998 at Edinburgh, Electrum has a 16 year pedigree in the client reporting sector, giving them with a wealth of experience in all aspects of software development and an in depth knowledge of the Financial Services Industry. Electrum’s automated solutions cut costs and timescales, assisting their clients with business process changes and business development opportunities.

Electrum products include:
Automated Documents: High quality solutions for print or web ready documents in a range of formats including Office and PDF, such as:
·         KiiDocs: automation of the production of Key Investor Information Documents as part of the UCITS IV directive.
·         DocGen: Automatically create print ready professional standard documents containing text, tables and charts from spreadsheet data
·         Factua: automatic generation of print-ready fund factsheets
·         Slide Library: Automatically create and update branded, consistent PowerPoint presentations from a library of approved slides.
·         Presentation Library System: automatic generation of Microsoft PowerPoint or PDF presentations from a store of approved slides
·         Proposal Template: Produce compliant proposals from a library of approved content
Microsoft Office Templates & Add-ins:
Ranging from simple templates & add-ins to the automatic generation of large and complex documents and PowerPoint presentations, e.g.
·         Smart Templates:  brand-specific templates allow complex designed documents to be simply produced in-house using Word. A branding toolbar has buttons to automatically create complex branding elements such as tables, charts and side-bars. Plus document-specific business logic. Can be integrated into larger systems.
Bespoke Development & Consultancy:
Helping to make businesses run more efficiently, effectively and productively.
·         Expert consultancy across a wide range of sectors for clients of any size, from farmers to designers.
·         Bespoke development services, mainly web-based, using a variety of languages and platforms.

ENDS.


PR blog posted by Penny Haywood Calder at PHPR Ltd, Edinburgh, UK. URL: http://www.phpr.co.uk PHPR TV Channel on YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/user/PHPRtv PHPR Ltd on LinkedIn Follow PennyHaywood on Twitter

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