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UC Berkeley’s Research Partnerships. UK-US Higher Education Forum . December 1-2, 2011 London. University of California, Berkeley Associate Vice Chancellor for Research Robert Price. Examples: Three different partnership models. Socially Responsible Licensing Energy Bioscience Institute

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UC Berkeley’s Research Partnerships

UK-US Higher Education Forum. December 1-2, 2011


University of California, Berkeley Associate Vice Chancellor for Research Robert Price

Examples: Three different partnership models

  • Socially Responsible Licensing

  • Energy Bioscience Institute


Many research collaborations/partnerships: No single Model

Socially Responsible Licensing Program

Program begun in 2003 with Four Core Goals

  • increase external support for Berkeley research

  • support start-up company development by Berkeley researchers

  • maximize the societal benefit of Berkeley’s discoveries

  • affordable access in low income countries to products derived from Berkeley discoveries

(PDP) Product Development Partnership for Malaria Therapies

Begun in 2004

Drug distributed in 2012

UC Berkeley Keasling Lab


Royalty free license

Royalty free license




Technology/synthetic anti-malarial drug (artemisinin)

Synthetic Biology startup company

Institute for One World Health Not for Profit

sub-license (2009)

Big Pharma

University is one contributor among many

UC Berkeley




Funding agency





Partnerships forged by Industrial Alliance office (IAO) and

Each partner must benefit while sacrificing something

Each partner trades sacrifices for benefits

Early stage funding from philanthropy

Profits from licensed technology in biofuels, fragrances, flavors, etc.

Regulatory fast track for drug development

Low cost to Developing World

Research funding

Public service


Scale Regulation

Basic Research

Applied Research

Manufacturing Distribution

Foregoes royalties on sales in low-income countries

No profit from sales of anti-malarial drug


No Profit from anti-malarial drug


Instead of a “relay race” a single donor makes one grant to fund basic research, translational research, clinical & regulatory activities

No gaps (time, expertise, additional transactions) between stages

Example #2

Applying bioscience to the global energy challenge

Mission: transportation fuel from cellulose

Bench to fuel tank

Ten Years

$500 Million, from BP

Public-Private Partnership

  • Two Research Universities (UC Berkeley, Univ. of Illinois, Champagne/Urbana

  • A National Laboratory (Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory)

  • A global energy company (BP)


  • October 2006-- RFP to 5 potential hosts

  • February 1, 2007-- award made to Berkeley, Illinois, and LBNL

  • Spring – Fall 2007-- contract negotiations

  • November 14, 2007-- contract formally signed, operations begin

Berkeley-BP Partnership Agreement: Unusual Features

  • Industry scientist (BP) work in labs on University campus

    • Co-located with University researchers

  • An Open Component and a Proprietary Component

    • Open Component: academic research in fundamental biosciences; all results area publishable

    • Proprietary Component: private, confidential research; results are sole property of BP.

  • Open and Proprietary components located in adjacent building space

    • Open component– all collaborators can participate, including BP employees (scientists, consultants)

    • Proprietary component– space leased from University; controlled cardkey access to BP employees only.

Biomass Depoloymerization

Berkeley-BP Partnership Agreement: Unusual Features

Operating principle with respect to Intellectual Property– “yours-mine-ours”

  • “Yours” - inventions made solely by BP personnel in leased space

  • “Mine” - inventions made solely by UCB, UIUC or LBNL personnel in their own space

  • “Ours” - inventions made by at least one inventor for BP and at least one member of UCB, UIUC or LBNL

Miscanthus Growth over a Single Growing Season Illinois

Licensing provisions

For inventions owned by UCB, UIUC and/or LBNL, or jointly with BP


  • BP has first right to negotiate exclusive license to sole or joint inventions.

  • pre-negotiated capped fees ($100K per year + patent costs)

  • “Bonanza clause” in case of extraordinary commercial success

  • BP will diligently pursue commercialization


BP has access to non-exclusive, royalty free (NERF) license in BP’s area of interest (fuels), providing:

BP will diligently pursue commercialization of licensed technology

BP will underwrite the patent costs

Background IP

  • BP Receives a Royalty Free Nonexclusive license to BIP

  • •If inventors received funding from BP through EBI

    • If available when foreground IP is licensed

    • •solely to the extent necessary

  • •solely to put into practice licensed, project IP

  • If an inventor has NOT received BP funding

    • License requires inventors consent

    • Up to $20K per year for one patent

    • Up to $50K per year for a bundle (if bundle necessary to practice one invention)

  • EBI (UIUC)

    Deputy Director

    EBI (BP)

    Assoc. Director

    EBI (UCB)


    6 Program


    EBI governance and oversight

    Governance Board



    UCB/UIUC/LBNL - 4 representatives

    BP - 4 representatives

    Executive Committee

    Strategic Science



    Research Programs

    Proprietary Research Programs


    Research Program

    • Six broad subject matter areas defined in Agreement: e.g., feedstocks, biomass deconstruction/depolymerization, biofuels production, Environmental, social and economic dimensions.

    • Annual Open Call for proposals (Open Component)

      • peer reviewed

      • Executive Committee makes funding decisions

      • Governance Board accepts or declines the full slate of proposals . . . cannot cherry pick.

    • Program Scale

      • 129 PIs; 126 post-docs, 133 graduate students

      • 60 Inventions disclosures and 20 patents to date

      • 60 research projects and programs supported to date

      • 382 journal publications and 400 presentations or posters

    Example #3

    Berkeley Education Alliance for Research in Singapore


    November 17, 2011

    A Company Limited by Guarantee in Singapore Owned and Managed by the University of California

    BEARS: A Center for Climate and Energy Research

    • Research Programs

      • Building Efficiency and Sustainability in the Tropics

      • Photovoltaics and photoelectrochemical cells

    • Research Participants

      • Investigators from UCB, LBNL, NUS, and NTU

    • Funding

      • Grant of $95M from Singapore government’s National Research Foundation

        • $75M for research in Singapore

        • $20M for research in Berkeley

    • Location

      • Downtown Singapore

      • In NRF’s new Campus for Research Excellence and Technological Enterprise (CREATE)

      • Rent Free

    Unusual Features

    • BEARS is a limited Liability Corporation (LLC)

      • Located in Singapore

      • Owned and Managed by Berkeley

      • Receives and Distributes the $95M in NRF funds

    • Singapore residency requirement for Berkeley researchers

      • Director, tenured Berkeley faculty member, resident in Singapore

      • At least 6 BerkeleyfacultyPIs must spend one year in aggregate (over 5 years) in Singapore

        • one stay of at least 6 months, shorter stays of at least 4 weeks.

    • Intellectual Property

      • Ownership principle: yours, mine, joint

      • All BEARS sponsored IP, whomever the owner, managed by Singapore Technology Licencing Office (TLO)

    Research Programs (Singapore and Berkeley)


    Berkeley Faculty Member

    Based in Singapore


    Program Lead: UCB


    Program Lead: UCB


    Governing Board 8 Members 4 NRF/4UCB

    UCB College of Engineering

    (Sponsor of BEARS)

    Executive Director/COO

    Based in Singapore

    HQ Staff

    Based in Singapore

    Governing Board (by 2/3rd majority):

    • Appoints Director tin collaboration with UCB COE

    • Provides oversight for BEARS operations

    • Approves disbursement of grant funds

    • Sets priorities and direction for BEARS