Frequently Asked Questions
- Which types of collaboration can be established between university and business?
- Which contracts/agreements of UMA faculty fall outside the scope of OTRI?
- What is a Framework Partnership Agreement?
- What type of R&D projects can be carried out by research groups for companies?
- Which activities of technological support can be provided by the University for companies?
- What do research group contracts for technical report and scientific advice entail?
- What is the nature of analytical work undertaken by research groups for companies?
- What do services of industrial testing as well as calibration, normalisation, and conformity of standards consist on?
- What is the purpose of a training contract for scientific and technical staff?
- License for use of patents, computer programs, proprietary technologies, and advisory contracts for technology transfer
1. Which types of collaboration can be established between university and business?
There is a wide range of collaboration types between the University and companies and one of OTRI's functions is to enable better comunication channels among these, thus satisfying their mutual interests.
In practice, the different types of collaborations are made possible through agreements which can refer to any of the four following categories:
- Framework Partnership Agreements.
- R&D Projects.
- Technical Support Activities.
- License for use of patents, computer programs, proprietary technologies.
2. Which contracts/agreements of UMA faculty fall outside the scope of OTRI?
OTRI is responsible for contracts and agreements regulating partnerships UMA research groups and companies.
Therefore, the following activities are beyond the scope of our responsibility:
1. Professional activities that take place outside the University and carried out by part-time faculty, as long as these activties do not entail the use of equipment, staff, facilities, or services of such University.
2. Prizes awarded to university teachers.
3. Activities excluded from the regulations on incompatibilities.
4. Activities which, by nature, correspond to basic teaching and research functions, particularly:
- Lectures, conferences, talks, and other activities of academic nature that are not subject to contract or agreement.
- Publications of a scientific, technological, or artistic nature with the usual purpose of research results dissemination.
5. Agreements which, by statute, require the approval of the University Government Council, as well as those which, by their nature and purpose, are beyond the scope of art. 83 under the LOU.
3. What is a Framework Partnership Agreement?
These refer to agreement signed with industrial groups of a diverse nature and public entities such as Regional Ministries, Regional Councils, City Councils, etc., with which future partnerships may be established.
Framework Agreements result from a willingness to collaborate of both signing parties (which is why it is signed by the highest authority figure of both entities) and establishes a set of potential partnerships (R&D joint projects, staff exchange, mutual advisory, etc.) which could take place in the future; this set is not closed and serves as a guidance. The modalities for collaboration are to be formalised and specified through contracts or agreements.
The development and follow-up of the Framework Partnership is carried out by a Joint Committee of both parties' highest authorities or their delegates in addition to one or two more members of each party. This Committee serves as a forum where partnership programmes can be discussed, doubts brought up, and problems presented during sessions. As a long-term objective, by means of the Joint Committee, Framework Partnerships should give way to:
- Inclusion of R&D industrial demands in the University programme, thus initiating the collaboration and meeting the essential objective of the research project.
- The development of joint units to carry out the most relevant projects for the company.
- The development of R&D joint institutions in cases where there is a mutual interest in creating a common R&D area.
Lastly, among the main benefits resulting from signing and carrying out a Framework Partnership with a company, are:
- The company, usually unaware of the University's research potential, has easy access to research groups to collaborate with.
- Researchers do not have to devote their time in seeking industrial partners.
- Joint Committee members act as a bridge between University researchers and company managers or technicians (whose criteria and mindset may not coincide) by ironing out differences, making communication easier, and, at times, helping define the project.
- Establishing general criteria for the partnership allows for business planning and economic forecasting, during the development stages as well as in subsequent stages of exploitation of results.
- University and company partnerships represent an alternative to R&D project funding as well as other forms financial support (research mobility, etc.)
- Naturally, all other University-Company partnership modalities may be encouraged by the Joint Committee in accordance with the company's demands (foreign technology acquisition, projects for the European Community, etc.).
4. What type of R&D projects can be carried out by research groups for companies?
In practice, several options are available for the development and implementation of R&D projects in response to or in collaboration with companies' demands:
- Projects developed under Framework Partnership Agreements with companies.
- Projects developed by both parties, thus resulting in a concerted action partially funded by various public entities.
- R&D projects under independent programmes, partially or fully funded by a company or entity that will only benefit from the knowledge generated by research findings.
- R&D projects developed in response to business demands with the purpose or effect of producing profit; the research topic may not be included within the programme.
In order to develop and R&D project of any nature, the parties involved should draw up a contract or agreement detailing the objetives, contents, resources, duration, budget, payment arrangements and, where applicable, conditions for ownership or use of the results, as well as the conditions relating to confidentiality and publicity of results.
5. Which activities of technological support can be provided by the University for companies?
The following activities are among the forms of technical support provided by the University for the company:
- Technical studies and opinions, and scientific and technical consultancy.
- Quality analysis studies.
- Services related to industrial testing and calibration, normalisation, and conformity of norms.
- Specialised skills training for the staff.
- Joint development of courses.
6. What do research group contracts for technical report and scientific advice entail?
It makes reference to the research groups' current knowledge. The contracts establishing this type of collaborations follow the R&D project scheme, given that there is also a reduced number of clauses; for example, those relating to publicity and use of patents need not be included.
7. What is the nature of analytical work undertaken by research groups for companies?
These refer to tecniques requiring highly-trained skills or sophisticated equipment that companies may not have access to; for example, computer-aided drug design, specific statistical designs, complex instrumental analyses, etc.
8. What do services of industrial testing as well as calibration, normalisation, and conformity of standards consist on?
The University has high-potential employees and resources to carry out calibration, accreditation, industrial testing tasks for the industrial and public sectors. In this aspect, our University can carry out extensive work in testing, in compliance with national and international standards, industrial calibration, and quality labels, in addition to actively participating in the development of the aforementioned standards.
9. What is the purpose of a training contract for scientific and technical staff?
In this case, a wide range of possibilities exist.
Firstly, our University organises and provides, sometimes in collaboration with companies, a great number of expert courses, seminars, conferences, etc., on various areas of knowledge which can be attended by the company staff.
Secondly, the University staff can collaborate with companies/entities in developing training courses tailored to the foreign market. In any case, the contract must explicitly state if such participation is done on an institutional or personal basis.
Lastly, partnerships agreements for company interships are also of our interest; our University offers senior students or recently graduated students the opportunity to do an intership under the management of the Office of the Vice-President for Business Cooperation.
10. License for use of patents, computer programs, proprietary technologies, and advisory contracts for technology transfer<
The University of Málaga, as owner of various patents, computer programmes, and propriety technologies can assign its use/exploitation to those interested through contract or agreement, which should specify the nature of this assignment, its duration, the territorial area such use covers, conditions of confidentiality and outsourcing, the possibility to request advice from the product's developers, and the concession costs.