Ohio IP Promise

Ohio IP Promise

Ohio State is committed to making Ohio a stronger state that attracts talent, business and new investment through extraordinary collaboration and transparency, and we support this aspiration by being a more effective and efficient leader in technology commercialization.

Under the leadership of the Lieutenant Governor and the Inter-University Council of Ohio, Ohio’s public universities came together to establish a best-in-class process for how we license our institutions’ intellectual property. The Ohio IP Promise helps ensure that Ohio’s public universities are competitive and aligned when it comes to the transfer of our discoveries to the marketplace. Our institutions are committed to being flexible, transparent, simple, clear, easy and fast. Through these principles, the initiative fosters a climate where innovation thrives through partnerships among universities, researchers, entrepreneurs, investors and industry. By publishing detailed processes, standard templates and key terms on our websites, we provide a transparent view into our process.

Our team is here to make engaging with Ohio State’s innovation and entrepreneurial ecosystems as transparent and easy as possible. To help get our conversation started, we’re providing you with our standard practices for engaging with us. 


For companies

Our team works with hundreds of companies each year – companies ready to take the university’s innovations to market and impact lives. To illustrate our process, we have established a clear commercialization pathway for licensing a university technology. To help get started, below find our standard templates for licensing a university technology.


For inventors

We've created the Inventor's Guide to Technology Transfer to outline the life of a technology and help inventors know what to expect throughout the process.


For some innovations, a startup company is the optimal way to bring the technology to market. We have created guidelines to help clarify and simplify the process by which inventive faculty and staff inventors, or creators, may start new companies based on technology created by them at Ohio State.


An industry sponsored research agreement is a contract between Ohio State and a company for funding research at the university. This agreement includes terms around a number of areas, including the licensing of any intellectual property arising from the research. The university provides industry partners three options for the handling of intellectual property, including:

  • an option to negotiate a license;

  • a non-exclusive, royalty-free license with an upfront technology access fee; or

  • an assignment of rights with an upfront technology access fee.


A technology access fee (TAF) is when a company pays an upfront fee before the research is conducted, and in exchange, the company receives known, up-front rights to any intellectual property that may result from the research. This option provides transparency and reduces the risks for companies when investing in external research. Please note that the TAF option is not available when there is university owned or controlled background intellectual property or for technologies in the health sciences. Learn more about upfront rights to project IP in sponsored research.

View our standard industry sponsored research agreement. For companies who intend to execute multiple research programs, Ohio State also offers a master research agreement to further streamline negotiations on individual research projects.


When negotiating an agreement with Ohio State, the university is bound by certain essential terms. “Essential” terms are terms that are either non-negotiable or strongly preferred terms because of State law, Federal law and/or the academic mission and policy of the University. Specifically, Sponsored Research Agreements and Patent Licenses will implicate both Ohio and Federal legal issues that require certain results. 

The Ohio Attorney General’s Office identifies several essential terms and explains the basis as to why the terms are essential or non-negotiable and identifies the required or preferred result. 


Our research programs make the university a leading force of innovation and change – locally, nationally and globally. With a long-term, comprehensive focus on commercialization, the university has built a robust set of resources to take promising discoveries from concept to market. Brilliant faculty are the driving force for nearly 400 invention disclosures each year. Entrusted with these promising innovations, Ohio State is committed to being an effective and efficient leader in technology commercialization. In doing so, we not only make Ohio a state that attracts talent, business and new investment – but a state that helps improve lives around the world.

Want to engage in this with us? To get started, contact Kevin Taylor, associate vice president of technology commercialization by email or at 614-292-1315.