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Joint Report of the Council and the General Board on research services

The COUNCIL and the GENERAL BOARD beg leave to report to the University as follows:

1. The Council and the General Board have recently reviewed the arrangements for promoting co-operation between the University and industry, and for the management of funding for research from outside sources. At present, these two activities are the responsibility of two separate organizations; the Wolfson Industrial Liaison Office deals with industrial co-operation, while research funding and research contracts are handled by the Research Grants and Contracts Section of the General Board Division of the University Offices. Because of the close links between these two activities, the Council and the Board have agreed to propose that the two organizations responsible for them should be combined to form a new division of the University Offices, to be known as the Research Services Division. This division would be under the supervision of a Director of Research Services; the latter is a new post which the Council and the Board have agreed to institute, initially on an unestablished basis for an experimental three-year period.

2. It is proposed that the Director of Research Services be responsible for managing and enhancing the research support and development services provided by the Central Offices to academic staff, for overseeing the work of the Wolfson Industrial Liaison Office, and for the management of the University's subsidiary companies responsible for intellectual property exploitation and technology transfer. He or she would work closely with individual academic staff and their Heads of Department and with the Chair of the General Board's proposed Research Policy Committee (see below).

3. The Research Services Division would be responsible for:

(a) work previously carried out by the Research Grants and Contracts Section, including approval of the terms and conditions on which outside grants are accepted, and matters relating to intellectual property rights, copyright and liability, but excluding matters relating to employment which will fall under the responsibility of the Director of Personnel;
(b) the financial administration of all grants and contracts awarded to the University by outside funding bodies;
(c) facilitating, through the Wolfson Industrial Liaison Office or otherwise as appropriate, the University's commercial exploitation of research results and IPR, including the support of academics wishing to set up spin-out companies and advising on and assisting with obtaining patent protection;
(d) giving advice on commercial agreements and consultancies and assistance with the negotiation thereof and formally approving all such agreements entered into in the name of the University.

4. If the Wolfson Industrial Liaison Office is to form part of the unified administrative service, it will no longer be appropriate for it to retain its present status as an institution under the supervision of the General Board. It is therefore proposed that the Office should be placed under the supervision of the Council, and that the Director should be responsible (through the new Director of Research Services) to the Treasurer. There will then no longer be a role for the Committee of Management of the Office; it is proposed that the Committee should be discharged and that the regulations governing it should be rescinded. Revised regulations for the Office and for the Directorship are set out in the Annex to this Report.

5. The General Board have agreed to establish a committee to advise them on issues relating to research policy, including general matters concerning industrial liaison, consultancies, and intellectual property rights. This will be a standing committee, responsible to the Board in the same way as the Board's other standing committees. One of the key duties of the Director of Research Services will be to assist this Committee in the formulation and development of policy, for approval by the General Board and Council, on externally-funded research, including policy related to the recovery of indirect costs.

6. The Council and the General Board recommend:

That, with effect from 31 January 2000,

(a) the arrangements for industrial liaison and for the management of research grants and contracts be as described in paragraphs 1, 2, and 3 of this Report;
(b) the regulations for the Wolfson Industrial Liaison Office (Statutes and Ordinances, p. 569) be replaced by the regulations set out in the Annex to this Report.

13 December 1999

ALEC N. BROERS, Vice-Chancellor DONALD LAMING JEREMY SANDERS
TONY BADGER MELISSA LANE M. SARDY
A. L. R. FINDLAY JOHN A. LEAKE M. SCHOFIELD
DAVID HARRISON A. M. LONSDALE DAVID M. THOMPSON
BRIAN F. G. JOHNSON M. D. MACLEOD R. E. THORNTON
GORDON JOHNSON ONORA O'NEILL

1 December 1999

ALEC N. BROERS, Vice-Chancellor MALCOLM GRANT N. J. MACKINTOSH
P. J. BAYLEY BRIAN F. G. JOHNSON ADRIAN POOLE
A. L. R. FINDLAY JOHN A. LEAKE KATE PRETTY
K. GLOVER PETER LIPTON M. SCHOFIELD

ANNEX

Wolfson Industrial Liaison Office

Constitution

The Wolfson Industrial Liaison Office shall be an institution within the University Offices, and shall be under the supervision of the Council.

Director of Industrial Liaison

1. Appointments and reappointments to the University office of Director of Industrial Liaison shall be made by the Standing Appointments Committee for the central administrative offices.

2. Appointments and reappointments to the office of Director of Industrial Liaison shall be made for periods not exceeding five years at a time, as the Council, on the recommendation of the Appointments Committee, shall determine. The Council shall have power, on the recommendation of the Appointments Committee, to authorize the reappointment to the retiring age of a person who has held the office of Director continuously for not less than five years.

3. The duties of the Director shall be:

(a) to promote co-operation between the University and industry in general, including the provision of information to industry on research capabilities and opportunities for technology transfer;
(b) to advise and assist members of the University in identifying sources of industrial funding for their research, and in negotiating the terms and conditions of such funding, subject to the general academic policies of the University, with particular reference to the terms on which any research results might be commercially exploited;
(c) to advise and assist members of the University in seeking patent or other protection for the intellectual property arising out of their work and in pursuing commercial exploitation of that intellectual property on terms beneficial to the individual and the University;
(d) to endeavour to secure the commercial exploitation of inventions arising from work conducted in the University, and in particular to fulfil the obligations of the arrangements for exploitation of work funded by the Research Councils, in accordance with the agreement between the University and the Research Councils;
(e) to be responsible under the direction of the Treasurer for all aspects of the work of the Wolfson Industrial Liaison Office, and to undertake such other duties as the Council may from time to time determine.

4. The Director shall conform to such conditions of residence as may be determined by the Council.

5. The Director shall not, without the consent of the Council, give instruction on behalf of a College.


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Cambridge University Reporter, 15 December 1999
Copyright © 2011 The Chancellor, Masters and Scholars of the University of Cambridge.