- Approved TLO
An approved TLO is a TLO whose plan for implementation of specified university technology transfer operations (TLO operations) has been authorized by the Minister of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology and the Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry under the Law Promoting Technology Transfer from Universities to Industry (TLO Law)*.
* Law No. 52, May 6, 1998.
- Law Promoting Technology Transfer from Universities to Industry (TLO Law)
The purpose of the Law Promoting Technology Transfer from Universities to Industry (TLO Law) is to promote transfer of research achievements arising from universities to industry so as to upgrade industrial technology and create new industries, as well as to activate research activities in universities.
- Content of the specified university technology transfer operations (TLO operations)
- Discovery, evaluation, and screening of research achievements that can be commercialized
- Offer of technical information on technological research achievements in universities
- Licensing of patents and other IPRs to companies
- Recycling of royalties and other relevant incomes
- Advice on business management, Technical guidance and R&D, Financial support, Other operations necessary for efficiently transferring technological research findings in universities
- Approval of implementation plans
Plans on specified university technology transfer operations for efficiently transferring technological research findings in universities to private companies by such means as assignment of patents are approved by the government according to the implementation guidelines.
* This does not preclude unapproved technology transfer organizations from engaging in technology transfer.
Public Assistance to Approved TLOs
- Grants for the technology transfer activities
TLOs can receive grants from the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI) for the operations relating to their approved plans. TLOs subject to grants: TLOs approved by the Minister of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology and the Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry
Grant rate: up to two-thirds and no more than 30 million yen per year
Grant period: five years
Costs subject to grants: among the expenses necessary for implementing the approved plans, the costs listed below
- Cost for gathering, evaluating, and investigating technology seeds
- Cost for filing IPR applications in foreign countries
- Cost for processing, editing, and releasing information
- Cost for technical guidance
- Personnel cost for technology transfer specialists (for technology disclosure activities)
- Debt guarantee based on the Industrial Structure Improvement Fund
TLOs can receive debt guarantee for the operations related to the approved plans based on the Industrial Structure Improvement Fund.
- Reduction of the annual fees and the fee for requesting examination for patent applications filed by approved TLOs (Law on Special Measures for Industrial Revitalization)
The amount of annual fees (for the first three years) and of the fee for requesting examination to be paid by approved TLOs for the patent applications related to the TLO operations are reduced by half.
- Use of state-owned facilities (university facilities) free of charge by approved TLOs (Industrial Technological Ability Strengthening Law)
Approved TLOs can use state-owned facilities (university facilities) free of charge for conducting the TLO operations.
- Dispatch of technology transfer specialists (patent licensing advisors)
Under certain circumstances, approved TLOs can receive such support as dispatch of patent licensing advisors, who are technology transfer experts, from the National Center for Industrial Property Information.
- Allowing instructors of national universities to take the post of TLO directors
Instructors of national universities are allowed to serve as TLO directors as side business.
- Preferential measure on investment by the Small Business Investment Company Limited (support measure for companies receiving technology transfer from approved TLOs)
SMEs to which research achievements of universities were transferred by approved TLOs can enjoy a preferential measure on investment by the Small Business Investment Company Limited (investment is extended even to companies with a capital of 300 million yen or more).