The University has in place effective policies which support faculty members in university-industry collaborative engagements and technology commercialization through consultancy, licensing, collaborative research, entrepreneurial and other industrial support endeavours. The Knowledge Transfer Committee steers the overall governance and policy pertaining to knowledge transfer, and monitors any key management issues arising from operations that may require input at the policy level.    

Notwithstanding the institutional stance to encourage knowledge transfer in a disciplined manner, the University avoids undertakings associated with unmanageable commercial risk which could adversely affect the University’s finance and reputation. For risk management, the University deploys its subsidiary, the PolyU Technology and Consultancy Company Limited, as the engaging party for all external dealings with regard to commercialization in order to shield the University and its staff members from potential disputes, claims and liabilities associated with related activities of a contractual nature.

Ownership and Management of Intellectual Property (IP)

The University sets out its position on the ownership, management and commercial exploitation of IP in the Policy on Ownership of Intellectual Property to ensure that all stakeholders are properly informed about how IP rights will be protected and how the use of IP will be regulated. Unless explicitly stated otherwise, all intellectual property and materials developed by staff members and/or students shall belong to and vest in and be owned exclusively by the University.

The University strives to promote and facilitate the timely transfer of its knowledge and technology to benefit the society at large. To facilitate various knowledge transfer undertakings, the University adopts the principles detailed in the Regulations on the Management of Intellectual Property for the management of IP, including disclosure of invention, protection of patentability and confidentiality of invention and other IPs, registration and maintenance of patents, commercialization, and distribution of net revenue.

Collaborative Research

To govern the management of collaborative research and ensure compliance with the requirements of UGC and funding bodies, the University has in place Policy Guidelines on Collaborative Research (Section  2.4  of the Handbook  for  Projects and Grants) to: i) ensure staff members shall not receive personal remuneration; ii) define the intellectual property rights of the University and participating parties; and iii) define overhead and related charges. In cases where staff members derive personal income from a research engagement, the activities are considered as consultancy work.  


The University has guidelines to govern conflicts of interest under the Regulation Governing Conflict of Interest and outside activity provision under the Regulation Governing Outside Activities and Consultancy Work. Undertaking of outside activities shall be approved by supervisors at department head’s level and above, with the due process overseen by the Designated Senior Executive appointed by the President.  

The University assures clients’ satisfaction within the scope of the consultancy engagement through the quality assurance system for consultancy service.


The University has established Guidelines for Technology Licensing and due processes, and engages industry experts in the Entrepreneurial Programme Management Committee to consider licensing terms that can fairly reflect the value of the technology to the University and to the licensing party, with the overarching objective of creating impact through such arrangement under sound governance.

Spin-off and Start-up

The University adopts the following principles as set out in the Guidelines for Establishment of PolyU Spin-off Companies (under review) for the formation of spin-off companies:

University’s R&D efforts;
The knowledge transfer by way of licensing to the spin-off companies will have a good chance of enhancing the impact of the research output concerned;
The involvement of staff members concerned in the spin-off companies will remain at arm's length without assuming active management roles;
The University will not make cash investment in spin-off companies;
The staff members concerned will avoid participation in the management and operation of spin-off companies; and
There will be an exit policy.



Related Documents

- Terms of Reference and Composition of Knowledge Transfer Committee
- Policy on Ownership of Intellectual Property (restricted access)
- Regulations on the Management of Intellectual Property (restricted access)
- Policy Guidelines on Collaborative Research (Section 2.4 of the Handbook for Projects and Grants)(restricted access)
- Regulation Governing Conflict of Interest (restricted access)
- Regulation Governing Outside Activities and Consultancy Work (restricted access)
- Guidelines for Technology Licensing (restricted access)
- Terms of Reference and Composition of Entrepreneurial Program Management Committee
- Guidelines for Establishment of PolyU Spin-off Companies (restricted access)