Contract Research means that the university performs research on behalf of another party.
The university charges a fee for the assignment that covers the university’s full costs for the project – “full cost coverage”. There are no formal obstacles to the commissioning party taking ownership of the results, and in certain cases, ‘users’ rights are sufficient. The commissioning party and the Principal Investigator leading the work shall agree on the terms regarding ownership of results and the commissioning party and the university shall enter into an agreement before the work starts. These rights shall be regulated in the Contract Research Agreement that is signed between the party and university before work is started.
Contract Research should benefit the university, which as a rule, means that the results should be able to be published and presented in academic contexts and be to the benefit of continuing research and education. Confidentiality of the project is always taken into consideration and there are clear procedures and regulations to protect the commissioning party’s interests prior to publication. Accordingly, the university delays the dissemination of results until the commissioning party has been notified and given the opportunity to postpone dissemination for a reasonable time, usually 90 days from the date the party was notified, so that the party can apply for intellectual property rights protection, such as patents. The procedure for this should be described in the Contract Research Agreement. As a public entity, KTH is limited by certain public disclosure laws and regulations; for further information regarding KTH’s limitations regarding preserving confidentiality, please see the section on Confidentiality.
KTH performs its research assignments with the due diligence expected from a leading technical university. As research by its very nature is experimental, the University is unable to warrant that certain research findings will be achieved, the commercial usability of such, or that developed results do not infringe on existing intellectual property rights.