Commercialisation pathways

We are committed to helping you create positive impact and societal benefit from your research and innovations.

Commercialisation describes the process of translating research and knowledge into new products, services and companies.

As a researcher, commercialisation provides you with additional ways to explore how your research can be applied to solve problems facing communities today and into the future.

We provide support to commercialise opportunities:

  • Through collaboration with industry partners
  • By licensing to established companies
  • Through helping you create a startup or social enterprise.

Why commercialise your research?

There are many good reasons for commercialising your research. Researchers we work with cite the following as benefits that flow on from commercialisation:

  • Play a significant role in translating your research
  • Personal fulfilment
  • Receive professional recognition
  • Broaden skills and experience
  • Explore an alternative career to academia
  • Generate research funding
  • Discover and lead new research ideas and directions
  • Create employment opportunities, including for students.

The University encourages an entrepreneurial culture. So, once costs are recovered, we share any proceeds of commercialisation with all Intellectual Property (IP) creators and their faculties.

How we work with you

We help University researchers at all stages of their career to translate their work into successful products, services and companies.

Steps to commercialise

Our commercialisation and venture teams have experience in working with researchers across all areas of the University including social sciences and humanities, life sciences and physical sciences.

The commercialisation process typically includes the following steps. These may occur sequentially or in parallel, and they can be iterative as you develop your idea further.


Through your research activities, you may be involved in creating valuable  IP with potential for commercial application. If you are undertaking research that is targeting a specific commercial outcome – we can help you develop an optimal IP strategy and plan up-front.


You contact us to discuss the IP and get guidance. We talk to you about disclosing, evaluating and protecting the IP – ideally before publishing or presenting at conferences, or discussing it with external parties.

IP disclosure

You submit an IP disclosure form. We help you navigate the complexities of intellectual property and copyright.

Assess commercial potential

With your help, we conduct patent searches (if needed), and analyse the market and competitive solutions to assess the IP’s commercial potential.

Protect your idea

We pursue some form of protection for the IP, for example, a patent. Patent protection usually takes several years and costs tens of thousands of dollars.


In some cases, the IP needs further development before it’s ready to commercialise. We give advice on potential sources of funding for this development.

Licensing or startup pathway

We identify companies with the expertise, resources and business networks to develop the IP into a marketable product or service, via a licensing arrangement.

Or, with you, we may decide together that creating a startup or social enterprise is the right path.


We promote opportunities to companies who may be interested in licensing and developing the IP, via conferences, our digital channels and through our networks.


The licensee or startup company develops commercial products or services based on the IP.

In most cases, this involves further development to:

  • Enhance the IP
  • Reduce risk
  • Prove reliability
  • Meet the market requirements for adoption by customers.

Your input and expertise are often needed at different stages, and you may be engaged via a research contract.

Revenues and re-investment

Any proceeds we receive from the licensee through royalty payments or from the sale of equity in a startup company are distributed to you, the creator, your faculty and the University, less any costs of commercialisation. This supports more research, education and participation in the commercialisation process.


The process of protecting IP and finding the right licensing partner may take months – or sometimes years – to complete. We work with you to progress the process as quickly as possible.

The amount of time depends on:

  • The development stage of the IP
  • The potential market
  • Competing technologies or solutions
  • The amount of work needed to bring a new concept to market
  • The resources and participation of the licensees and the creators.
More resources

More resources are available on the University's Research Gateway
(UoM log in required)

First published on 6 March 2023.

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