Clinician Innovation & Commercialization FAQ

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What is a clinician innovation?
The University provides a streamlined process for clinicians with ideas for a medical device or diagnostic that arises from their clinical practice and is not part of a funded research project. As employees of the University clinicians are required to disclose these ideas. The disclosure process includes an assessment of intellectual property and potential commercial value.

How does a clinician disclose an idea?
Clinicians with an idea for a device or diagnostic that is not part of a funded research project should submit the online disclosure form at

What happens after the clinician disclosure?
Once the disclosure has been received by the Office for Commercialization & Economic Development (UKCED), the following process will be followed.

  • The clinician will be contacted to schedule a structured interview with a team of UK research harvesters in the Von Allmen Center for Entrepreneurship. The purpose of the interview is to gather more detail on the idea and the clinical problem it solves. The clinician is requested to bring any drawings or data to the interview if available, but the primary purpose is to start documenting the idea without placing an undue burden on the clinician's time. If at any time it is determined that extramural funding is involved, the disclosure will be immediately forwarded to the UK IP Committee following the normal research disclosure process.
  • Following the structured interview, the UK research harvester will conduct a preliminary commercialization assessment including market, manufacturability, intellectual property, regulatory and reimbursement assessments. The results of the commercialization assessment will be shared with the clinician and UKCED. The research harvester will discuss options about either working with Therix Medical or another partner.
  • With the clinician's permission, a meeting will be scheduled with Therix Medical. Therix Medical is a for-profit company founded by Kentucky Technology Inc., UK's for-profit corporation, for the purpose of commercializing medical device and diagnostic concepts originating in the six colleges that support UK HealthCare. Therix Medical has a highly experienced business team with access to rapid prototyping, patent strategy, FDA assessment, reimbursement planning, investor relations and industry partners. The clinician and Therix must reach mutual agreement before Therix licenses the concept from UKRF under its master agreement. All discussions with Therix personnel are strictly confidential and covered under an umbrella confidentiality agreement between UK and Therix Medical.
  • If the clinician and Therix agree to pursue commercialization of the idea, Therix will proceed with licensing the technology from the University of Kentucky Research Foundation (UKRF), a not-for-profit Kentucky corporation, and a Therix project team will be assigned to work closely with the clinician to move the project forward. The clinician, the UK department and college, automatically share in any royalties received by UK as prescribed in the UK Administrative Regulations. Additionally, the clinician may reach a consulting arrangement with Therix if mutually agreed.
  • If the clinician and Therix do not reach agreement, the disclosure is referred back to the UK IP Committee for final resolution. In all cases, the intellectual property associated with the idea remains University property unless formally released to the clinician by the UK IP Committee. The clinician retains the option to choose a partner other than Therix Medical. The research harvester will assist the clinician develop this partnership.
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Office for Commercialization & Economic Development
262 ASTeCC Building | Lexington, KY 40506-0286