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Opportunities to work with us

Within these frameworks described below there is ample room to find solutions customised to the individual project and partners.

1. Research Collaboration

The German Cancer Research Centre engages in a multitude of national and international collaborations. About 60 percent of the Centre’s scientific publications present results with external co-authors.

With regards to industry partners, DKFZ also has a Strategic Alliance with Bayer Schering Pharma and numerous contracts with other pharmaceutical companies. This collaboration draws on the strengths of both partners and so expedites the process by which research findings are translated into innovative substances for cancer treatment. Furthermore, there are alliances with Siemens and also with Carl Zeiss MicroImaging which led to foundation of Carl Zeiss Application Centre in the Heidelberg Technology Park in July 2007.

In order to establish a collaboration between DKFZ / DKTK scientists and a company, a number of conditions must be fulfilled:

  • The results created by the DKFZ scientists through the project will remain the property of DKFZ
  • An option to DKFZ’s Intellectual property may be granted to the company on market terms
  • DKFZ must be free to publish its own research results.
  • DKFZ is obliged to limit its liability
  • In the budget funds must be allocated to cover DKFZ’s overhead costs.

For more questions please contact one of the licensing managers.

2. Contract Research

Through a contract research, DKFZ can provide support to the pharmaceutical, biotechnology, and medical device industries in the form of research services outsourced on a contract basis. DKFZ’s contract research simplifies entry into drug markets, and simplifies development, as the need for large pharmaceutical companies to do everything ‘in house’ is now redundant.

  • DKFZ’s standard Terms & Conditions should be used
  • DKFZ scientists may need approval from the management board to carry out contract research
  • Results arising from the contract research may be assigned for a lump sum
  • DKFZ scientists may keep results confidential and forgoes publication right.

3. Consultancy

In matters of strategic importance, industrial corporations like to avail themselves of the expertise of selected consultants. The DKFZ consultant provides such services outside normal working hours and as a rule is compensated for them directly. The company requiring expertise and the consultant enter into a consulting agreement to this end. The consulting agreement covers the field in which consultancy services are to be provided, the compensation due (daily fee, travel costs), the ownership rights to the information and/or findings provided, secrecy, the consulting period and hours, and the consultant’s liability. Consulting agreements constitute secondary employment and must therefore be reported to the HR Department.

DKFZ is only in the position to assign the IP in a consultancy if it is outside of the normal work scope of the scientist.

4. Licensing

Technology is typically transferred through an agreement in which DKFZ grants to a third party a license to use DKFZ’s intellectual property rights in the defined technology, sometimes for a particular field of use and/or region of the world. Such a grant may be exclusive or non-exclusive. Intellectual property can take many forms and inventions that are not patentable or copyrighted can still be licensed.

License agreements can also cover materials (such as transgenic mice and cell lines – see Material Transfer Agreements) and other forms of intellectual property including copyrights (particulary on software). For example, cell lines or antibodies can be licensed as a tangible property, where the licensee is granted the right to use and sell those materials that were created at DKFZ.

A term sheet is normally concluded prior to the license agreement to outline main terms.

The licensee (the third party licensing the technology) may be an established company or a new start-up. After a company has first shown an interest in obtaining a license, Technology Transfer staff will produce an outline of the key licensing terms and conditions. In the process, the responsible technology manager will consult the inventor(s) in all questions concerning the invention. After reaching an agreement about the license terms, the DKFZ and the company will negotiate the complete license agreement.

Depending on the complexity and availability of the contracting partners, negotiations of a license agreement can take between a few weeks and several months. Once all parties have reached an agreement, the authorized representatives of the parties will each sign the license agreement, which then enters into force.

Licenses include terms that require the licensee to meet certain performance requirements and to make financial payments to DKFZ. These payments are shared with the inventors and also distributed to departments to provide support for further research, education and participation in the technology transfer process.

The key to success in licensing is to create a long-term partnership between DKFZ and the licensee around the mutual interest of seeing these technologies realized as commercial products and services.

To see DKFZ’s technologies, click here.

To obtain more information regarding the license agreements, please contact one of the licensing managers.

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