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Award acknowledges excellence in Commercialisation

Friday, 27 September, 2013

Media Release: Award acknowledges excellence in Commercialisation

Auckland UniServices Ltd took home the top award for “Best Commercialisation of Intellectual Property in International Business” at the New Zealand International Business Awards ceremony in Auckland last night. Its winning entry, sponsored by James and Wells, covered UniServices’ system for identifying, evaluating, protecting and commercialising IP. 

The awards, run by New Zealand Trade and Enterprise and supported by ANZ, celebrate and recognise excellence on the world stage.

CEO Andy Shenk says that he is delighted with the win. “We documented the years of hard work and smart thinking that have led to the creation of the Return on Science system and the impressive deal flow we are now generating through our engagement with our academic partners in the University of Auckland, the experts who make up our investment committees and our growing portfolio of licensees in markets around the world,” says Dr Shenk.

Forty percent of UniServices’ clients are international and the company works across 45 countries, targeting markets with large economies and significant consumer and manufacturing bases. The company, which manages the intellectual property assets of the University of Auckland, is responsible for half of all the patents issued in New Zealand to universities and Crown Research Institutes.

“We invest a lot in developing IP assets for their potential in the marketplace – investing in the first commercial embodiment of that potential, and creating a deal structure with the licensee that interests them and generates a revenue stream for the University.”

In 2012, UniServices commercialisation income exceeded $13 million, with potential for more value in the form of equity and royalties from its spin-out portfolio. In the same year, UniServices had 105 invention disclosures and filed 66 Full Patent Applications, bringing its total pending or granted patents to 620. In the past five years, it has raised over $25 million in seed and first-round funding. These companies have gone on to raise a further $155 million.

UniServices was also a finalist in “International Success Through Application of Innovation”, sponsored by Callaghan Innovation. This second entry covered the company’s success in commercialising a customised education programme with Princess Nora University in Saudi Arabia and showed how the teams built on the strong reputation of New Zealand and the University of Auckland in education to develop and deliver programmes in a very challenging cultural and commercial environment. 

“We are proud of the education programme and energized by the recognition we’ve received for our work there. Recognition as finalists and award winners reflects the drive, commitment and exemplary teamwork that make UniServices successful.”

In addition to commercialisation of intellectual property, UniServices’ business encompasses contract research and development, educational programme design and delivery, and new technology development.


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