I-CERCA has decided to develop an agreed funding programme with the CERCA centres, to support their knowledge transfer projects, specifically in terms of protecting intellectual and industrial property rights, known as the GINJOL Patents Fund. This fund is not a separate legal entity, and is therefore set up and managed internally by I-CERCA, which will centrally administer contributions to the GINJOL programme and allocate resources to the projects selected in each selection and assessment period.
The funding for these activities may come from the following sources:
- Funds contributed by I-CERCA,
- Start-up funds allocated to CERCA partner centres under agreements with I-CERCA,
- Funding from public grants and programmes or from private non-profit institutions, and
- Funds generated from I-CERCA’s shares in the profits of projects selected and financed by the GINJOL Patents Fund.
The funding awarded through this programme may be used to finance the services needed to protect, exploit and market the results of research generated by the research projects submitted in the time period established for each funding round.
These may include:
- Advisory services related to procedures and strategies for protecting the intellectual and industrial property related to the technology.
- External services to assess the technological suitability and market potential of the technology developed.
- Strategic and economic consultancy services related to the marketing of the technology.
The services will not be provided by I-CERCA, nor will it prescribe which consultants must be used for the provision of the services. The services must be contracted by the research centres from third-party professionals, in accordance with their contracting standards, although the suitability of the provider selected and the financial terms must be justified to I-CERCA.
The CERCA centre agrees to fund from its own resources the activities referred to in the application, on a percentage basis agreed between the two Parties.
Financial terms: funding and returns
The funding provided will not be in the form of a grant (in accordance with its regulations) as it will be structured on a returns-based model. The GINJOL Patents Fund will be entitled to a share of the revenues obtained from exploiting the results of the project. I-CERCA will not assume any ownership rights over said results.
Initial funding for each project is expected to be 10,000 euros, depending on the activities to be carried out and the budget included in the application. Other funds must be available to co-finance the project: these may be drawn from the centre’s own resources or from third parties.
The returns will be agreed by the parties in the negotiation stage and, in the event that there are revenues, they will never be less than the amount awarded plus 50% (in respect of patent fund creation and management expenses), although the parties may agree a fixed rate of return on all revenues or any other formula.
Alternative returns models may be considered based purely on variable revenues in those cases where it may be agreed that the GINJOL Patents Fund will assume all the costs of protecting intellectual and industrial property.
The final returns model, share percentages and stages will be agreed in negotiations between I-CERCA and the CERCA centre, taking into account aspects such as the amount of funding and the contributions made by each party, the nature, features and technological readiness of the project, and the percentage ownership held by the CERCA in the results (in cases where there are co-owners). Mechanisms will be established to regulate any potential dilution of these percentages due to the entry of additional investments to finance the development of the project or set up a spin-off company to commercially exploit the results.