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InnovateOhio Establishes First-in-the-Nation Partnership to promote Entrepreneurship

I.P. Promise logo

(COLUMBUS, Ohio)—Lt. Governor Jon Husted today announced the launch of the “Ohio IP Promise,” which is an initiative to make Ohio universities more attractive to innovators and entrepreneurs. The Ohio IP Promise brings together the state’s higher education institutions to provide a unified process for commercialization so students and faculty have a clear path to commercialization of their research in Ohio.

“The Ohio I.P. Promise will not only make Ohio a more attractive place for people to do research and invent, it will draw investment and jobs here by launching new business ventures through our universities,” said Lt. Governor Husted.

Representatives from the higher education community joined the Lt. Governor on The Ohio State University’s campus to officially launch the Ohio I.P. Promise and tout its potential to put the state’s public universities on the forefront of intellectual property development. Ohio State is one of the 16 founding members of the Ohio I.P. Promise.

“Around the country, we have great research institutions who do it well when it comes to intellectual property and commercialization, but nowhere in America is a state doing this well, which puts Ohio universities in a more competitive place,” added Lt. Governor Husted.

Governor DeWine and Lt. Governor Husted have long promised a streamlined, statewide standard for the ownership of intellectual property, with the guiding philosophy that research and invention done on the campuses of Ohio’s universities should be the property of the inventor, not the institution.

“From its inception, the DeWine-Husted Administration has emphasized the critical role that great research universities play in Ohio’s growing innovation economy,” said Bruce Johnson who serves as President and CEO of the Inter-University Council (IUC) of Ohio. Johnson served as the 63rd Lt. Governor of Ohio. “By focusing on world-class talent attraction, Ohio is leading the country with innovative approaches to bringing new research to market, which will help with the creation of new companies and good paying jobs.”

Many schools possess the ownership rights to research and inventions with no plans to bring it to the marketplace. In order to correct this problem, the Ohio I.P. Promise establishes a uniform set of guiding principles so researchers know exactly how they can take charge of their work and make it available to the public, if that is their desire.

The Ohio IP Promise also ensures that universities provide information on their technology transfer or research website with the following resources:

  • A step-by-step process for how would-be entrepreneurs can go through the commercialization process with their research or invention.
  • Standard Option and License Agreement templates so faculty and student innovators know the terms of their commercialization before even starting to engage in the process.

The Ohio I.P. Promise was developed in consultation with the Intra-University Council (IUC) of Ohio. Each of the member institutions, including all 14 state universities, have agreed to use the Ohio I.P. Promise as the starting point for their own commercialization process. Each school will also display an Ohio I.P. Promise page on their website to indicate that their process is based on the statewide standard so that prospective students and faculty members will know they are a member of the promise team.

The goal of InnovateOhio is to establish the state as the most innovative and entrepreneurial state in the Midwest. Learn more about projects and strategies managed by InnovateOhio, including the Ohio I.P. Promise, the statewide broadband strategy, efforts to shape and improve Ohio’s focus on in-demand jobs, and the InnovateOhio Platform by visiting Innovate.Ohio.gov.


I.P. Promise logo

Leading American Research Institutions


Provide industry choices for accessing intellectual property developed through sponsored research.


At least two choices for I.P. ownership, which may include:

  1. Option to negotiate a license.
  2. Non-exclusive, royalty free license
  3. Assignment of rights

University primarily owns I.P. developed there with a (sometimes limited) licensing option.




Publish template sponsored research and license agreements.


Publish all sample agreements and templates.

Publishes limited access to sample agreements and templates, and in some cases does not publish them at all.


Deliver fair and streamlined guidelines and frameworks for faculty and student creator startups.


Publish guidelines and agreement templates for faculty and student startups.

Publishes basic information and sometimes broad guidelines, but rarely sample agreements and templates.


Communicate licensing processes on websites in a clear, prominent way.


Publish details, processes, guidelines, and agreements.

Some basic information commonly published, but rarely full details and agreements.


Provide well-defined university entry points for industry, investors, and entrepreneurs.


Identify and highlight the point of entry for each constituent, improve digital presence for easy navigation and user experience.

Well known points of entry for industry, investors and entrepreneurs.


Reduce impediments that hinder the pace of transactions.


Establish commercially reasonable starting points for core agreement terms.

Licensing associates are traditionally given flexibility