Innovation and Enterprise Unit

The information provided below briefly explains how Fleming manages its contracts with its external clients 

Since each project is different, contracts are individually tailored to specific project needs. In order to streamline this process, we here describe our basic negotiating position and contractual needs, which we apply as flexibly as possible to suit individual projects.

Ownership of results and arising Intellectual Property (Foreground IP)

Fleming understands that where a company has commissioned a specific piece of research, it may seek ownership of the Foreground IP. Provided that the company has paid a suitable price for the research, Fleming is normally willing to discuss fair ownership of the arising IP.

When the relationship is collaborative, with each party contributing financially and intellectually, Fleming must, as a publicly funded Research Centre, protect its commercial and research interests. In such circumstances, the IEU will negotiate a fair assignment of ownership and rights to the arising IP.  

Regardless of rights to exploit Foreground IP, in order to maintain research programs of the highest standards, Fleming will normally seek to retain rights for its own internal research purposes, subject to requirements of confidentiality.

Fleming Know-How and pre-existing knowledge (Background IP)

Companies often seek to work with us to access to our existing know-how, expertise or materials (“Background IP”). Whenever possible we will specify our Background IP in our contract with you. If our Background is required to commercialise Foreground IP, we will normally and subject to any third-party obligations, undertake to agree a fair and reasonable licence on that Background IP to your company.


Fleming understands that when working with a company the parties may need to exchange confidential and commercially sensitive information. We routinely issue and accept confidentiality agreements to protect early stage discussions with companies. Similarly, we regularly include confidentiality clauses in our research agreements. 


In order to maintain our standing of excellence as a Research Centre, we normally reserve the right to publish the results of all work undertaken at Fleming, provided all necessary measures have been taken in protecting intellectual property or confidential information.