Frequently Asked Questions

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Working with CWRU

There is a broad range of expertise among our faculty base, with many being leading experts in their fields. When product development overlaps with fundamental research questions, CWRU researchers can help your company develop novel technologies, while advancing the state of the art in their respective disciplines. Our Corporate Relations team can help you find the right lab/faculty member partner.

There are a variety of core facilities your company can use for routine testing and analysis on campus, offering access to specialized capital equipment and trained operators. View a list of core facilities.

CWRU hosts one of the country's first designated "maker's spaces", think[box], a facility offering rapid prototyping equipment and general entrepreneurial support to the public. Learn more at

Using Existing Technology

Some of our technologies available for licensure can be found on our Flintbox portal, while many others may be available which we can't yet publically display. We'd be happy to have a personal discussion with you on what technology may meet your needs; - just contact our Licensing Concierge Service and one of our licensing managers will be happy to call you. 

Often a corporate partner isn't sure where the market may take them and would like time to evaluate a technology to fully flesh out a go-to-market plan or feasibility study. An option agreement may be appropriate for these situations, in which CWRU provides a time-limited exclusive option to negotiate a commercial license for a fee.

When the path to market is clearer, a partner can take either a non-exclusive or exclusive commercial license to the technology. These are custom-tailored agreements built to ensure that our commercial partner enjoys the bulk of the upside from a new project while securing a fair market value back to the inventors of the technology. 

We'll build the license to ensure that you reap the majority of the upside from any commercialization endeavor. Using your own projections, and industry comps, we try to set royalty rates/fees at a level to make sure that you keep most of your margin. Our No. 1 goal is the widest possible dissemination of publically-funded technology back to the public. We're only successful in that goal if we make sure you're successful in the marketplace.  

Academic Publishing

Timely publication of research results is critical to a university's success. Publishing in highly respected publication venues is essential to the career advancement of the research team’s professors, research staff and students.

Peer-reviewed journals and conference presentations are important publication venues. Increasingly, they require authors to identify the source of research funding and other support in all papers. For this reason, in most academic publications, CWRU must be able to identify and acknowledge a research sponsor’s support.

To ensure that a sponsor’s confidential information is not inadvertently disclosed—and to prevent premature disclosure of patentable information that could damage patent rights—CWRU allows sponsors 30 days to review research publications before they are published (with a limited extension allowed if necessary to file patent applications).

Trade Secrets & Confidential Information

Research often produces information and knowledge that could be competitively significant to a sponsor. Routine sponsor-researcher communications during the project provide early access for the sponsor to this information before publication of the research results.

Because CWRU must freely publish the results of its research, it is unable to establish trade secrets.

CWRU is willing to maintain the confidentiality of sponsor-owned confidential information needed by a CWRU investigator for preparation or conduct of a sponsored research project. These confidentiality obligations can be described in a Research Agreement or in a separate Non-Disclosure Agreement.

In order for CWRU to know what information is confidential, that information must be marked and identified as confidential by the sponsor at the time of its disclosure to CWRU.