News & Events

Expanded and updated guidelines launched to drive commercialisation of Irish research and boost economic growth

• Minister Halligan launches 2019 National IP Protocol in Dublin, referencing Ireland’s “competitive edge”
• Protocol provides a practical framework for business to access and use Irish research
• New section on formation of spin-out companies reflects continuing importance of this area

Minister John Halligan TD launched the National IP Protocol 2019 in Dublin today. The Protocol, which is in its third edition, is produced and managed by Knowledge Transfer Ireland on behalf of the Department of Business, Enterprise & Innovation. It provides a practical, best practice framework for businesses, from start-ups and SMEs to large multi-nationals and entrepreneurs to access and utilise Irish research to drive economic growth.

The Protocol sets a benchmark for good practice in the commercialisation of valuable intellectual property all around the country, on terms that are fair to researchers and business alike, and in ways that are predictable and consistent from one negotiation to the next.

The IP Protocol has been a reference point for business and research communities since it was first produced by the Department in 2012. This new Protocol is an update to the previous IP Protocol published in 2016. Recognising the significant numbers of spin-out companies coming out of research performing organisations around the country, the new Protocol includes a dedicated section on best practice in the formation of spin-out companies. It also includes a summary of the issues relating to state aid in the commercialisation of research.

Commenting, Minister Halligan, Minister of State at the Department of Enterprise and Innovation and the Department of Education and Skills said;

“The commercialisation of public research to drive innovation and Ireland’s economic competitiveness is a key pillar of the government’s innovation strategy, Innovation 2020. While investment in research performing organisations the length and breadth of the country is critical, it must go hand in hand with an effective strategy to put that research into the hands of businesses for the benefit of the Irish economic and society. The National IP Protocol is a key element of that strategy.

“In today’s climate, more than ever, it is vital that we harness the considerable abilities of Ireland’s researchers, so as to give businesses the best possible competitive edge on the European and global stage.”

Commenting, Alison Campbell, Director of Knowledge Transfer Ireland said;

“I am delighted to welcome the publication of the new IP Protocol. The new section on spin-out company formation developed in consultation with people operating at the coal-face is particularly welcome and was drafted to address a gap in the framework. The range of practical tools produced by Knowledge Transfer Ireland that are referenced throughout the Protocol and its associated Resource Guide have been expanded. The aim of these tools is to provide relevant resources that demystify knowledge transfer and allow commercialisation and collaboration to flourish, while protecting the interests of all parties and freeing up researchers and businesses to get on with the business of innovating.”

The National IP Protocol 2019 comprises two documents:

1) the policy document which sets out the framework underpinning research collaboration and access to intellectual property from state-funded research.

2) the resource guide which provides an overview of the national IP management guidelines and links to a wealth of resources and template documents that support these guidelines. It also provides an overview of the knowledge transfer structures in Ireland and the kinds of agreements that can be used to formalise research-industry engagements and spin-out company-related contracts.

The Protocol is the product of an extensive consultative process facilitated by Knowledge Transfer Ireland with representatives from industry, investors, entrepreneurs, agencies and research organisations to ensure that Government policy supports all types of enterprises engaging with publicly-funded research in Ireland.

The National IP Protocol 2019 and the accompanying resource guide are available at: Ireland’s National IP Protocol 2019 - A Framework for Successful Research Commercialisation

For more information visit

KTI will embark on a national roadshow to present the IP Protocol 2019 to businesses and researchers around the country, highlighting the new material it contains. The Roadshow will visit the following locations:

• Cork: Monday 1st April 2019 at 2:30pm in The Western Gateway Building in University College Cork

• Limerick: Tuesday 2nd April 2019 at 7:30am in The Courtroom in the Library in the University of Limerick

• Galway: Tuesday 2nd April 2019 at 2pm in The Whitaker Institute in National University of Ireland, Galway

• Dublin: Wednesday 3rd April 2019 at 8:00 am in the Davenport Hotel, Dublin 2


For further information contact:
Press Office, Department of Business, Enterprise and Innovation, 01-6312200 or 0877844800
Elizabeth Carvill, Communications Manager, Knowledge Transfer Ireland

Photos will be syndicated by Shane O’Neill and are also available on request.

Note to the Editor

Knowledge Transfer Ireland (KTI) makes it simpler for business and research performing organisations to work together. KTI aims to maximise the extent to which State-funded technology, ideas and expertise gets into the hands of business to drive innovation.

KTI offers information and advice across the areas of research collaboration, consultancy, licensing and spin-out opportunities amongst others. It helps companies and investors access expertise and intellectual property and guides them to the right contacts and information on funding supports available to assist innovation.

KTI is located in Enterprise Ireland (EI) and funded by EI with co-financing from the Irish Universities Association.

Through its web portal Knowledge Transfer Ireland provides a range of tools to support the engagement process between industry and research performing organisations in Ireland. Resources such as the Find Funding Tool, KTI Research Map of Ireland, KTI Research Centre Directory and KTI Directory of Researchers can help you find and connect with the right research partner in Ireland and identify the most relevant financial support that might be available. The series of KTI Practical Guides will support you through the practical process of engagement and the suite of KTI Model Agreements offers a number of functional templates devised to act as the foundation of any negotiating process between researchers and industry.

For more information, please visit