Boost for Innovative SMEs

Boost for Innovative SMEs

The Isis SME Smart IP Scheme (SSIP)

The Isis SME Smart IP Scheme (SSIPS) offers SMEs greater flexibility and reduced business risk when accessing Intellectual Property (IP) originating from Oxford University by offering a phased programme to access and utilise IP projects, with the support of IP management expertise and resources from Isis – including proactive assistance to access financial support for SME’s developing new products and technologies.

SMEs will now benefit from an additional option for selected Isis IP projects allowing them to enter into a two-stage licence that recognises separate development and exploitation activities.

In the first stage, SMEs can enter into the development licence with Isis to apply their R&D resources and development expertise to turn a scientific technology into a new product design and specification.

Once the new product specification exists, the second stage gives the SME three options:
1. to make and market the product internally,
2. to out-license the designs and IP to a suitable manufacturing and marketing company, or
3. to pass the designs to Isis for them to identify and engage the marketing organisation.

Key to SSIPS is that in each of these scenarios the SME that has invested in the development of the product will earn a share of future revenues. Isis manages the Intellectual Property, and with more than 850 patent families in its portfolio has ample experience to do this in a cost effective manner.

Furthermore, Isis will work with SMEs to encourage, and where possible facilitate, access to the many support initiatives available to SMEs which they may not have the expertise or resources to benefit from. Examples of such support are the technology competitions from the Technology Strategy Board (TSB) including their Smart awards and Innovation Vouchers, impact awards from the research councils, R&D tax credits, the new Patent Box and more.

Dr Will Barton, Head of Manufacturing at the Technology Strategy Board, said, “The TSB recognises that small and medium-sized enterprises with high growth potential will be a major source of the UK’s future economic growth. We are committed to supporting innovation in this sector, and are delighted that Isis is making it even easier for SME’s to get a head start through more attractive access to Oxford University’s IP, and through the assistance they are giving to help SME’s access our grants and the new government tax benefits like patent box and enhanced R&D Tax Credits.”

Isis Innovation already has a very good track record in working with SMEs. In particular for the physical sciences, the majority of licence agreements are with spin-outs and SMEs, and so this initiative is a natural development from that experience.

“Simon Crompton, Managing Director of Wirth Research, said, “As an existing licensee of technology from Oxford University, through Isis, we appreciate that the results of original research give a competitive edge for industry. This scheme is an excellent way of de-risking the investment for businesses, making it more attractive for SMEs to engage with Oxford.”

Tom Hockaday, Managing Director of Isis Innovation, added, “SSIPS combines Isis IP and technology transfer expertise with SMEs development strengths to bring innovative technologies to market. SMEs are vital to the health of the local and national economy – we believe that this initiative, which makes good use of Isis’ experience and networks, will make a real impact and will be beneficial for all involved.”

For Further Information:

Dr Jon Carr
Senior Technology Transfer Manager, Isis Innovation Ltd.
T: 01865 280907

Dr Chandra Ramanujan
Business Relationships Manager, Isis Innovation Ltd
T: 01865 614434