Intellectual asset management for universities

This guide helps Higher Education Institutions set strategies optimising the benefits from intellectual assets created by staff or students.


Intellectual asset management for universities

This file may not be suitable for users of assistive technology. Request an accessible format.

If you use assistive technology (such as a screen reader) and need a version of this document in a more accessible format, please email Please tell us what format you need. It will help us if you say what assistive technology you use.


This guide aims to help senior university managers set strategies to make the most of the benefit from the intellectual assets created by their staff and students.

‘Intellectual assets’ is a broad term that varies in definition. In the context of this guide, ‘Intellectual assets’ extends beyond Intellectual Property (IP) rights to the know-how and trade secrets of the staff and students.

This guide will help individual institutions adopt their own strategic approach allowing them to use their IP to secure greatest benefit for the economy and society.

This guide is underpinned by the European Commission Code of Practice on management of IP in knowledge transfer.

Relevant UK Organisations

The UK has three bodies which cater for knowledge transfer professionals:

Innovate UK hosts the Knowledge Transfer Networks which cater for different scientific and technical disciplines.

The Competition and Markets Authority has published recommendations to improve the regulatory framework for the undergraduate HE sector in England. It has published advice for HE providers and students on potentially unfair terms that allow for blanket assignment of students’ intellectual property rights.

Published 26 June 2014