Commercialising your research

DIT Hothouse is committed to research commercialisation and technology transfer from DIT to the world of industry and commerce.


There are a number of different reasons why you should commercialise your research:

  • Tangible output from your research
    By commercialising your research you get due recognition of your efforts.
  • Attract further research funding
    A track record of commercialising research from one project can improve your chances of getting further funding.
  • Attract further industry partners
    Industry partners like to see they are working with researchers with a keen eye for developing products targeted to specific markets.
  • Attract further research partners
    Multi-centre research projects are continually looking for partners with successful commercialisation history.
  • Requirement of your research project
    Certain state funding requires commercialisation as the final output of  research projects.
  • Financial gain
    DIT colleagues and students involved in commercialisation projects are entitled to fair financial rewards for their efforts.

Unlike most other third level institutes, DIT does not claim ownership of the intellectual property created by DIT staff in the course of their work. Rather, the creator (staff or student) owns all legal rights to the IP except where:

  • there are contracts with sponsors that require IP assignment to DIT,
  • DIT resources were used in the creation of the IP,
  • administrative materials were developed for DIT. 

The principle vehicles for commercialisation will be through licensing of intellectual property to a third party or through the formation of a campus company (start-up). DIT Hothouse will assist in drawing up a beneficial IP package to be agreed with a prospective user or partner, or in drafting a business plan towards the formation of a spin-out company. The legal details will be finalised with the institute’s legal advisors.

DIT will only embark on a course of patenting and commercialisation if the technology warrants it and if the applicable researcher(s) support the process.

IP Policy - promoting the creation, protection and commercialisation of IP

DIT’s IP policy promotes the creation, protection and commercialisation of IP by:


  • recognising that the creator has the moral and legal rights to the IP created, except where there are contracts with sponsors that require IP assignment; where DIT Resources were used in the creation of the IP, or where administrative materials were developed for DIT;
  • encouraging the protection of IP before publishing so that the IP retains commercial value;
  • enabling creators to choose to commercialise IP themselves or use DIT Hothouse, the technology transfer office, or other means;
  • sharing up to 75% of net revenues received from commercialisation with the creators, and
  • assigning IP to colleagues and students in return for a negotiable equity stake for DIT of typically 15% in their start-up companies.

This IP policy is consistent with the Funding Agency Requirements and Guidelines for Managing Research Generated Intellectual Property (February 2006), the National Code of Practice for Managing and Commercialising Intellectual Property Arising from Public Private Collaborative Research (November 2005), and the National Code of Practice for Managing Intellectual Property Arising from Publicly Funded Research (April 2004).

The policy is intended to create a more entrepreneurial environment in DIT to attract and retain world-class researchers, enhance collaboration with industry and raise the profile of DIT as a centre for excellent, commercially focused research and consultancy.

Click here to review the DIT IP policy in full. A member of the DIT Hothouse team will be happy to answer any further questions you have relating to IP.


Main routes to commercialisation?

There are a number of different routes to commercialising your research, the two most common ones being Licensing and Starting a New Business.



Access to intellectual property is granted from the licensor (DIT) to the licensee (third party) that would otherwise be forbidden. Terms and conditions regarding this access is governed by a licence agreement that contains a number of commercial and legal terms: what access to intellectual property is granted (licensed IP); the duration of the access (the licence term) and what form the payment for access is granted (royalty). The terms of the licences vary but typically involve up-front fees to access the IP and a percentage of net revenues achieved over the term of the licence. Over the last number of years, DIT Hothouse has completed a number of exclusive, non-exclusive and sole licenses with industry partners ranging from start-ups (both from DIT or externals) through to large, well-known multinationals. These companies are involved in a wide range of industries including ICT, Engineering, Chemistry, Life Sciences, Food and Manufacturing.

Starting a New Business

DIT Hothouse can assist you in setting up your new business based on your invention, idea or concept. We offer a wide range of support, advice and mentoring to help you and your new business become successful and grow rapidly. The DIT Hothouse team has considerable experience in starting and running businesses, from small university-based start-ups right the way through to working for some of the largest multinationals in the world. The DIT Hothouse team regularly meets with inventors, innovators and entrepreneurs from DIT and will work with you to identify the best methods and routes to commercialise technologies. We run well-established development programmes and seminars for entrepreneurs looking to start up or grow an existing business (New Frontiers).

DIT Hothouse employs a well-structured process that helps develop your idea into a solid business proposition. It helps you get to that stage and introduces you to potential investors as well as assists with funding applications, identifies resources and facilitates collaboration.