Today, the University announced that they had entered into an Intellectual Property agreement. For 10 years. I think this is a terrible idea.
- The University could become a leader in “actual, real, commercial products”.
- In turn, the University could have more income streams, which could put fees down, or improve resources.
- Unprofitable but valuable research could be scrapped.
- The focus for new research projects could be towards quick profits and not long term innovation. So, frivolous, but profitable research could become the mainstay of research groups.
- Potential to take the very best of the Universities’ lecturers away from teaching and out into external ventures.
- Potential to remove the option for students in accessing the research groups for final year, or Masters projects.
- By pushing the IP out into other ventures, the University will no longer be able to take direct credit for the achievements of various projects.
- The research groups of the University can be a pulling force for new students, by pushing out the interests might stop that happening.
It looks like we’re stuck with it. But let’s hope it’s not contagious. The sight of a country of profit driven research feels pretty grim, to me. On top of that, let’s hope the good points come to be true, rather than the possible downsides. That will come in the future.