Main Menu

In depth: Entering into an agreement

The following information will help potential commercial partners for ICR research understand how our philosophy and guiding principles govern how we make agreements with companies.

Whilst we follow these guidelines closely, they may be negotiable in certain circumstances. The exact details of any agreement will be discussed with each potential licensee or collaborator individually.

You can also contact our staff in the Business and Innovation Office to learn more about the types of agreement we make with companies.


In order to meet our mission of worldwide patient benefit, exclusive licenses will only be granted when they are considered essential to enable a licensee to successfully bring a product – for example a new drug – to the market.

Licences to ‘know how’ or background intellectual property (IP) necessary for the application of an invention may be granted but this is likely to be on a non-exclusive basis.

In order to ensure that any technology originating from the ICR is developed for the benefit of cancer patients, we will usually require a grant-back of licensed rights and additional collaborative research to enable us to continue to develop the work.


While our primary aim is to ensure that our research is exploited for the benefit of cancer patients, the ICR’s policy is to achieve a fair financial return recognising the contribution that both the ICR and our industrial partners will have to make to develop a product.

Agreements will therefore contain provisions for royalties or other payments, depending on the ICR's contribution to the development of products.

Delivering the technology

The ICR may provide consultancy for a defined time in order to aid in transferring a licensed invention. Alternatively, and more commonly, a collaboration will be initiated to develop an invention further.


As an academic institution it is important that the ICR is able to publish its work and we will require this right to publish to be included in almost all agreements with industry.

However, the ICR will provide industrial partners with advance copies of any intended publications to allow time for review, for new inventions to be protected and to ensure that no confidential information has been included in the proposed publication.

Academic rights

As an academic institution, it is usual for ICR scientists to retain the right to carry out further non-commercial, academic research on technology they have developed.

Decision making

For collaborative projects we prefer that decisions are made jointly and that our academic colleagues are represented on collaboration steering committees.