Innovation and commercialisation

La Trobe's Innovation and Commercialisation Team supports researchers in:

  • Bringing their ideas to market
  • Managing intellectual property (IP) issues
  • Managing the establishment of research and consultancy contracts
  • Assisting with the University's participation in research joint ventures (such as Cooperative Research Centres)
  • Assisting with spinout opportunities arising from University research activities.

Intellectual property (IP)

We support researchers who have made potentially patentable discoveries and creators of other intellectual property by assisting in the identification, assessment, protection and the licensing of intellectual property.

We also assist in promoting innovative La Trobe University research through newsletters, invention profiles and public expos.

Identifying opportunities

Researchers can contact us to alert us to a potential invention. This may lead to the need to complete:

These are available to La Trobe staff only.

We also keep an active watching brief on research as reported by the Research Themes, Schools and Centres to identify opportunities for industry support and commercial development.

Assessing opportunities

Reported inventions are assessed by a case manager and by a review panel comprised of other case managers and external advisers.

Due diligence issues (e.g. inventorship, third party interests, disclosures, prior art) and commercial potential are addressed .

If there is a clear commercial opportunity the case manager will work with you to define R&D objectives, where applicable, and develop a commercialisation plan.

Protecting the IP

Depending on the outcome of our assessment, we will instruct patent attorneys to review invention reports and advise on patentability. If the opportunity is patentable, we will arrange for a patent application to be filed. Usually the first filing is an Australian Provisional Patent Application. We will support the cost of patenting for the first twelve months. Further patent support will depend on having identified a partner or licensee.

If we decide not to proceed with a patent, the inventors will be offered the invention and the right to proceed with the application personally. See the Intellectual Property Policy for more details.

In close collaboration with our patent attorneys, we will monitor the status of the application. We will also liaise with you about progress against any R&D objectives and the commercialisation plan.


We will support you with potential licensees or partners and with the assistance of Legal Services, we will negotiate a commercialisation agreement. We will confer closely with you throughout.

Searching patent databases

Researchers may wish to keep their own watch on patents in their field, especially where inventions may potentially arise from their research or where funding bodies require researchers to demonstrate an awareness of the commercial landscape for their work.

Note: these searches will only produce results for published patent applications. Patents are not published until 18 months from first application.

Resources for inventors

Joint Ventures and Spin-offs

The Innovation and Commercialisation Team will assist with the University's participation in R&D joint ventures, such as Cooperative Research Centres and in spin-off companies formed to commercialise La Trobe research outcomes.

Contact us

Contact us with any queries, including discussion of potential inventions.

Ph: 03 9479 1681