Model agreements for collaborative research

There are different model agreements for management of Intellectual Property (IP) in collaborative research in the UK and overseas.


Negotiating agreements over the ownership and management of IP generated in collaborative research partnerships is vital for a successful relationship. Model agreements can help the parties in collaboration to determine ownership of any IP generated during a joint project in a fair and equitable manner. We support the use of model agreements, such as the Lambert toolkit, which was developed by universities, UK companies and professional organisations, as a good starting point for negotiations.

Lambert toolkit

The Lambert toolkit includes:

  • a decision guide
  • model agreements
  • guidance materials

These help facilitate contract negotiations involving publicly-funded research organisations (eg universities) and companies. Originally launched in 2005, it consists of 5 model agreements for one-to-one collaborations and 4 consortium agreements for multiple parties.

We have published a separate detailed guide to provide further information on the Lambert toolkit.

European Commission Cross Border decision guide

The European Commission Cross Border decision guide is an interactive toolkit that takes the user through a decision process and raises a set of strategic questions to consider when planning and negotiating collaborative research projects. The appendices to the decision guide provide fact sheets detailing the major elements of the Intellectual Property rights (IPR) framework and IPR rules in 19 European countries and New Zealand. This resource was originally produced by the European Committee de la Recherche Scientifique & Technique (CREST) which advised the European Council in relation to research and development. CREST is now known as the European Research Area Committee (ERAC).

UK-China collaborative research IP toolkit

We worked with experts from both the UK and China to develop a new toolkit. The aim is to help non-IP experts handle issues relating to the ownership and exploitation of IP rights generated in collaborations between the UK and China. The toolkit comprises guidance notes and nine model agreements.

UK-India collaborative research IP toolkit

As part of developing UK India collaboration on IP, working with Indian partners, we have developed an optional toolkit which we hope IP practitioners in the UK and India may find useful as part of a practical framework to support the management of intellectual property in academic and industry cross-border research and development, hence facilitating increased levels of productive research collaborations between the two countries. The toolkit provides basic guidance and model agreements to help organisations in the UK and India understand how they can effectively and quickly answer IP management questions like: who owns the IP resulting from the research? Is it being licensed or assigned? If licensed, is it an exclusive licence? How will disputes be resolved?

UK-Korea collaborative research IP toolkit

We have worked with the Korean IPO to develop a new toolkit that helps UK and Korean universities and industry manage IP in collaborative research projects. The aim of the toolkit is to help non-IP experts to quickly and simply handle issues relating to the ownership and exploitation of any IP rights generated in collaborations. The toolkit is based on the Lambert toolkit and contains three model agreements with integrated guidelines.

International guidelines

In 2012, the knowledge transfer working group of the ERAC produced guidelines for the management of IP in international collaborations.

Published 26 June 2014
Last updated 10 November 2017 + show all updates
  1. UK-China collaborative research IP toolkit information and link added.
  2. First published.