Complex Made Simple

Qatar Foundation sets up intellectual property and technology transfer office

Qatar Foundation Research and Development (QF R&D) has created an Intellectual Property and Technology Transfer (IPTT) Office to manage, evaluate, protect and commercialise all IP-related agreements at Qatar Foundation for Education, Science and Community Development.

The new office was established following the approval of an institution-wide IP policy by Qatar Foundation’s Board of Directors.

Each research entity within Qatar Foundation will appoint an existing staff member to act as team liaison and represent the individual body’s interests in decisions regarding the protection of Intellectual Property (IP) produced by staff members.

The liaisons of each entity will work as a part of “Q-Teams” whose members will include an IP attorney, a specialist in assessing markets for IP and the IPTT “commercialisation manager” charged with the responsibility for the actual negotiation and licensing of QF IP. The Q-team will provide recommendations on how or whether to protect the IP based on a review of its ability to be awarded a patent, its potential attractiveness in the market place and its strategic importance to QF and the entity from which it came.

Commenting on the new IPTT Office, Dr Erik Stenehjem Executive Director of IP & Technology Transfer at QF Research and Development, said: “Intellectual Property and Technology Transfer are crucial to the extensive research efforts underway within Qatar Foundation. Therefore, the new IPTT Office seeks to centralise the movement of knowledge and discoveries to the general public and the marketplace. Typical of the best practices followed in managing and marketing IP, the new Division has hired professionals with international experience in all aspects of IP management and technology transfer.”

“They will work with staff of the QF entities to collect and advise on their disclosures of inventions; manage the protection of their inventions and arrange for additional development, if necessary, to reduce them to practice; and, market, negotiate and license the IP to appropriate firms that provide an opportunity to create value for Qatar.”

He added: “Through the new IPTT Office and throughout all its activities, Qatar Foundation seeks to promote a culture of excellence in Qatar by advancing its role in supporting an innovative and open society through the development of sustainable human capacity, social, and economic prosperity.”.”

The new office also recently scheduled a foundation-wide workshop to allow staff members to familiarise themselves with how IP will be managed at Qatar Foundation now and in the future.

Moreover, the IPTT Office will also disseminate information about the specific needs of markets with regards to the fields of Energy and Environment, Information and Communications Technology and Biomedical Research. These insights into areas of promising research are the result of assessing the “landscape” of patents in a particular field to identify where market demand is high and where little work is being done.