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Research undertaken at the Rhine-Waal University of Applied Sciences constantly generates new insights in numerous scientific fields. Through technology transfer, this knowledge is made available to the public to eventually strengthen our society. At the same time, the university has to ensure the protection of economically exploitable innovations. In co-operation with PROvendis GmbH, the central patent marketing agency of the universities and research organisations in North Rhine-Westphalia, the Research Centre supports the researchers with information, advice and exploitation and makes sure that ideas and inventions are processed and implemented in the best possible way.
The entirety of newly developed ideas and inventions as well as their economic implementation is generally summarised by the term “innovation”. The Research Centre not only supports the staff of the university, but also establishes contact between interested companies and researchers to facilitate successful project management.
Each development project will thereby be assessed on its innovative nature. If a new idea or invention is developed at the university, the inventor has to disclose it to the university. The university then decides if it is a so-called service invention or if it releases the invention to the inventor. Therefore inventions are in the first instance formally checked by the Research Centre and subsequently assessed, in detail, by the PROvendis GmbH. Inventions which are subject to intellectual property rights will then be registered by the university as patent or utility model at the patent offices.
PROvendis GmbH, based in Mühlheim an der Ruhr, is the central patent marketing agency for 27 universities and other research institutions in North Rhine-Westphalia. As a subsidiary enterprise of the North Rhine-Westphalian universities, PROvendis considers itself as the service provider and contact point for securing intellectual property rights of university inventions and their successful marketing. PROvendis is closely working together with transfer offices, patent scouts and inventors at the respective universities. The main goal is to make the innovation potential of universities economically viable in a timely manner by professional commercialisation in companies.
Innovation managers from PROvendis provide support for researchers from the invention assessment stage all the way to the licensing stage and the professional commercialisation of their innovations. PROvendis acts as a link between science and industry and thus supports lasting sustainable partnerships.
The PROvendis team consists of scientists and engineers with proven expertise in specialist subjects and industries as well as experience in patent law; a lawyer assures specialist legal competency. This know-how enables the innovation managers to identify whether an invention is patentable and thus deemed suitable for further technology transfer.
PROvendis GmbH was originally established as a fully-owned subsidiary of ZENIT GmbH in 2001 within the framework of the federal government’s exploitation initiative. The universities organised within the patent marketing association of North Rhine-Westphalia have been shareholders of PROvendis GmbH since September 2008. PROvendis supports 27 North Rhine-Westphalian universities in the patent group.
PROvendis is funded by:
Innovation Alliance of the North Rhine-Westphalian Universities
The Rhine-Waal University of Applied Sciences is a member of the Innovation Alliance of North Rhine-Westphalian Universities (InnovationsAllianz der NRW-Hochschulen e.V.). Universities, universities of applied sciences, and university spin-off organisations from all of North Rhine-Westphalia have joined forces in Germany's largest university association of this kind. Their scientific competence and research experience will not only be made available to a broad audience, but will also be practically applied in collaborations with businesses. The Innovation Alliance offers services and assistance in establishing cooperations and public relations in a simple and unbureaucratic way. Innovative products, improved workflows and processes also optimise the companies’ success and thus prove the success of the Innovation Alliance.