Intellectual property

In our global knowledge economy, exploitation of intellectual property (IP) rights provides crucial competitive advantage for businesses and nations. This is underpinned by a fundamental shift in the value of core business assets, from tangibles (such as factories and equipment) to intangibles (including human and intellectual capital).

At Swinburne, our vision is to be a world class university creating social and economic impact through science, technology and innovation. Swinburne's IP policy supports this vision, by ensuring that we:

  • encourage an environment in which teaching, learning and research will flourish
  • maximise the benefits of publicly funded research to Australia
  • provide generous incentives to staff and students, for the creation of valuable IP and new ventures and partnerships - by sharing the benefits of commercialisation.

IP policy

Swinburne’s IP policy framework is set out in the following policies and regulations: 

These policies and guidelines are also designed for compliance with the National Principles of Intellectual Property Management for Publicly Funded Research.

Working with Swinburne

All collaborative research projects are established under commercial agreements that include IP ownership as part of their provisions. Broadly, Swinburne’s approach in negotiating these agreements is:

  1. All parties will retain ownership of their background IP (IP developed independently of the project).
  2. Swinburne is responsible for ensuring that appropriate agreements are in place with everyone involved in the project (staff, students, contractors etc.) to capture ownership of the project IP.
  3. If a partner pays for the full cost of a research project, that partner may own any new IP created from the research; but if this is the case, Swinburne will seek a licence for teaching and (non-commercial) research purposes.
  4. Where both Swinburne and partner/s make contributions to a project, the ownership and licence arrangements will be negotiated on a case-by-case basis.
  5. Where Swinburne has borne the full cost of a research project it will claim full ownership of the IP, but that IP will be available for commercialisation; for example, by licencing or assignment or by creating a spin-out company.

Contact us

Contact us for information on Swinburne’s IP policies, patent portfolio, IP licence agreements and more.

Matthew Cuthbertson
Pro Vice-Chancellor (Research Commercialisation)
e: IPenquiryRES@swinburne.edu.au