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Technology Transfer Process at KSU
As in most universities in the Arab world, research at King Saud University has for the most part been strictly following the 'publication only' path, i.e. research results have always been compiled and published in scholarly journals or in the proceedings of scientific meetings. While these activities constitute an integral part of the research paradigm in any reputable university, they, alone, do not guarantee that the public will benefit from the innovative ideas developed at KSU. In fact, so far very little of the work published by KSU constituents has found its way to the public in the form of tangible results or products. In other words, what has always been missing at KSU is the process of transferring the technology developed at KSU to the public for the benefit of society.
With the major transformation taking place today at KSU, transferring knowledge to the public is no longer a luxury; it is now engraved in KSU's identity. Today more faculty, students, and staff are recognizing the importance of technology transfer to the public. The following chart summarizes this process.
In the technology transfer process research that involves innovative technologies and discoveries is recognized in an early stage of its development. Instead of being directly published, the developed technologies are first disclosed to the professional staff at the Intellectual Property And Technology Licensing (IPP) at KSU. If, upon evaluation, the technology is found to be novel and of commercial value, IPP will immediately move to protect it as an intellectual property.
Once protection is secured, researchers will have the ability to publish their work to generate interest in it. KSU, with the help of the inventor, will simultaneously start marketing the technologies and searching for potential investors who might be interested in obtaining licenses for these technologies for agreed fees. Prototypes may be developed to help in this effort. Once licensing agreements are reached, KSU will receive licensing fees. If the technology is fully commercialized, KSU will receive further financial return in the form of royalties on the selling of commercialized products. Those royalties will be shared between the inventors and academic programs to be reinvested in new innovative research.
This process has many benefits compared to the 'publication only' path; some of those benefits are:
  • Introduction of products of high technical and industrial value that benefit the society.
  • Generation of income to be invested in research in the colleges and the academic departments from which inventions arise.
  • Generation of income for the inventor(s) whose technology is licensed.
  • Initiation of sustainable partnership with the industry.
  • Diversification of economic activities in the country.
These clear benefits are the best way to bridge the gap between the university and society, and to increase the confidence of both local and international industries in our role as leaders of innovation in the region