Aarhus University Seal

Legal aspects and licensing agreements

As in every other collaboration agreement you enter into with your other partners, you must draw up a legally binding partnership agreement for project collaboration with us.

It is important that clear guidelines are established in advance for the collaboration procedure and the contribution of the parties. In addition, public research is subject to a number of codes of practice that indirectly affect the agreements that Aarhus University can enter into with private companies.

Collaboration agreements

The collaboration agreement includes a clarification of who has the intellectual property rights (IPR), the academic freedom of the researchers, opportunities for publishing the results of the collaboration, and confidentiality issues. All this depends on which collaboration model is chosen for the specific project.


Co-financed research

Commissioned research

Aims of the project

The project shall support the university’s main tasks, as well as research and publication.

The project builds on skills that have already been developed at Aarhus University, and does not include key research tasks.


The project requires co-financing from either the company or another party, but it is possible for Aarhus University itself to finance a portion of its costs, for example by accepting a lower contribution to the indirect costs.

The project requires external financing from either the company or another party, and Aarhus University shall have all its costs covered, including full overheads, and may not undermine competition in this area.


The project’s results shall be eligible for publication.

The project’s results can be kept secret, even though Aarhus University’s starting point always involves publication.


The project’s results belong to Aarhus University or the parties jointly, but the company can have the right to use the results on market terms.

Upon remuneration, the company can be entrusted with the right to the results.


Non-disclosure agreements

If your company would like your knowledge to be kept confidential, a non-disclosure agreement (NDA) can be drawn up in connection with the initial meetings with our researchers. The same applies to our researchers, who may have knowledge and ideas that have not yet been published, and which they would like to keep secret. Reciprocal or unilateral non-disclosure agreements can thus be drawn up if the partners so wish.

Intellectual property rights (IPR)

In connection with the written collaboration agreement drawn up between the parties, clarification should be made of issues such as intellectual property rights (IPR) to the knowledge developed during the collaboration. This is mainly of interest if the potential for a patent develops in connection with inventions or innovations.

Licensing agreements

As a company, you have the opportunity to gain access to using the university’s inventions via licensing agreements. If the invention is made in connection with a collaboration project, a participating company will often have priority to enter into licensing negotiations regarding the invention, in accordance with the collaboration agreement.

The company with the licence to the invention continues with the further development of the product or service and the follow-up marketing. The subsequent income is distributed in three equal shares to the inventor, the department and the university.

Read more (in Danish only) about the framework for collaboration between universities and companies in this folder from Universities Denmark.