Though this course is a substantial commitment of time, it is an excellent example of getting out what you’re willing to put in.
We do not charge external researchers anything for participation in the course – it is entirely free. However, there are two quid pro quos:
- We expect researchers to bring with them and be ready to ‘share’ a nascent technological opportunity that forms the basis of the project work. This opportunity should be ‘real’ and something the researcher genuinely wishes to develop. As part of the application process, we will require researchers to showcase the technology and demonstrate their commitment to its commercial development.
- We expect external participants to commit a similar amount of time to the project as their MBA peers, attending each session, participating fully in project work and being fully involved in the preparation and delivery of the final presentation.
We understand that this level of commitment is substantial. However, for motivated researchers, this time should represent opportunity rather than cost.
Since so much depends on full participation of external participants, each will be asked to sign a binding Memorandum of Commitment with the School and each other prior to final acceptance.
Criteria for external applicants
We anticipate that research applicants should:
- Be late stage PhD, or post-doctoral
- Have developed a technology to a place of considerable robustness – preferably resulting in coverage in peer-reviewed publications
- Already have an application for this technology in mind and have some evidence that they are willing to explore its commercial potential
- Be able/willing to share details of the technology with their MBA team and at a general (non-confidential) level with the entire cohort.
Intellectual property and continued MBA involvement:
We fully appreciate sensitivities over the ownership of the intellectual property belonging to the researchers and their institutions. There are, understandably, two main concerns:
- Some IP relating to the technology may not yet have been protected and premature discussions may act as disclosure, impacting the granting of a patent
- It is entirely possible that the MBA students will contribute to a venture in a meaningful way – opening up the possibility of some future claim on shares or ‘intellectual assets’ of the venture.
The MBA students will act like any other external consultants to whom you might disclose IP and discuss your strategy. At the outset of the course, we will ask all MBA students to sign an agreement that preserves your rights. The agreement itself has been specifically commissioned from a leading UK-based IP law firm.
At this point it is assumed that the team members will go their own ways. Should any teams stay wholly or partially intact then they will need to reach a new agreement between them, for which they should solicit their own legal advice.
This arrangement does not obviate the need by researchers to be sensitive to IP disclosure to those not in their team and to external parties (including the judges at the final presentations). You should always operate on a ‘need to know’ basis, ‘black-boxing’ the technology where you can.
MBAs - Researcher Agreement
LBS - Researcher Agreement