1) What types of research interactions are
McMaster researchers work with industry partners in a wide variety of ways,
- Collaborative research projects and contracts, some of which may be eligible
for government matching funds
- Use of unique McMaster facilities on a fee-for-service basis
- Gifts and endowments (including endowed chairs) designated for colleges,
schools, departments, or individuals
- University-industry exchange programs and student internships or co-op
- Participation of industry representatives on various advisory
2) What are the typical terms in a sponsored
Standard terms include:
- Publication rights allowing McMaster faculty and students to publish the
results of the research in scientific journals
- Rights to the research results, terms usually include a first offer to
negotiate a licence to the intellectual property developed
- Confidentiality terms
3) Is my company eligible for matching funding
programs to do research at the university?
There are several federal and provincial granting agencies that have research
funding programs to match industry dollars being spent on research carried out
at McMaster. In general, the industry partner must be a Canadian company. The
amount of funding and possible leveraging will depend on the research project.
Details of program guidelines and eligibility requirements for companies can be
found at the granting agencies website:
Sciences and Engineering Council (NSERC) – programs to support graduate
students, post-doctoral fellows for research ranging from early stage to
prototype development, particularly in the areas of science, engineering and
- Ontario Centres of
Excellence (OCE) – programs to support undergraduate and graduate students
- Canadian Institutes for
Health Research (CIHR) – programs to support graduate students,
post-doctoral fellows for research ranging from early stage to prototype
development, particularly in the areas of Life Sciences.
Please contact the McMaster Industry Liaison Office (MILO) for more
information regarding matching research funding programs.
4) How long does it take to negotiate an
agreement with McMaster?
It depends on the circumstances, such as the nature of the research
collaboration, involvement of students and intellectual property terms, but
typically it takes between two to four weeks to finalize the terms of a standard
research agreement. This may be shorter or longer depending on the number of
changes requested by the parties.
5) What are the benefits to working with the
There are a number of benefits, including:
- Access to specific research expertise from McMaster professors
- Potential for matching funds through various federal and provincial
- Access to state of the art equipment and resources
- Potential for tax (SR&ED) credits for Canadian companies
6) What areas of research expertise are
available at McMaster?
McMaster has many research centres, which
house unique resources and equipment.
7) Who do I contact if I want to collaborate on
a research project with a professor at McMaster? What is the agreement process?
Once a research project has been developed between the McMaster professor and
a scientist at a company, contact should be made with MILO. Each university
faculty is assigned a research contracts officer to handle all industry research
agreements. The research contracts officer will contact the company and work
with both the company and the McMaster professor to begin and finalize the
8) Why does the University enter into
Development and sale by industry of products resulting from university
inventions ensure that university research becomes available to the public and
thus assists in fulfilling the university's public service mission. Some of the
most advanced and innovative research comes from Canadian university
laboratories. Through licensing, companies can have access to state of the art
technologies, affording them an opportunity to improve their economic
competitiveness in the world economy. In addition, license proceeds, such as
royalties, provide additional funds for the university's education and research
9) What technologies do you have available for
McMaster’s Industry Liaison Office (MILO) is continuously receiving new
invention disclosures from its researchers. Refer to our website for a comprehensive list of technologies available
for licensing. Please contact MILO for
10) How does MILO identify
Targeted marketing of the technologies available occurs but faculty contacts
are the primary source of license opportunities. In addition, some companies
solicit the university for particular types of technology.
11) What terms does a typical
licence agreement contain?
The length and complexity of a licence agreement can vary depending upon the
subject technology and the business of the commercial party. Basic terms
- Grant of licence (exclusive or non-exclusive, field of use
- Territory (e.g. worldwide or Canada only)
- Up front and licence maintenance fees, royalties, and/or other licence
- Responsibilities for patent maintenance and reimbursement
- Technology development obligations of licensee (milestones and performance
- Confidentiality, while still maintaining publication and academic research
rights retained by the university
- Indemnification and insurance requirements by the licensee
- Default provisions and return of technology to the university in the event
12) How is the licence
MILO negotiates licence terms with interested parties with the intention of
reaching a fair, mutually beneficial, reasonable agreement which complies with
university policies on publication, conflict of interest and research
13) Can more than one company license a
technology at the same time?
Yes, depending on the technology, a licence can either be:
- non-exclusive, which means several companies can license the same rights to
a technology, or
- restricted to a field of use or geographical area, which means several
companies can license different rights to a technology. For example, Company A
has rights to use the licensed technology only in North America, while Company B
has rights for Europe.
In other circumstances, it may be more beneficial for all parties if the
technology is licensed exclusively, whereby only one company has all the rights
to exploit the technology, excluding all others.
14) Who do I contact if I want to license
technologies from McMaster?
If there is a particular technology that you are interested in licensing,
please contact the Industry Liaison Officer provided with the non-confidential
information. Alternatively, if there is no contact provided or if you are
interested in finding out about other technologies available, please contact Elsie Quaite-Randall, Executive
Director, McMaster Industry Liaison Office.