MN-IP: Sponsoring Research & Innovation Partnerships


MN-IP: Minnesota Innovation Partnerships

Minnesota Innovation Partnerships, or MN-IP, is a groundbreaking approach to transforming discoveries into innovative solutions by streamlining partnerships between businesses and the University.

MN-IP improves access to University-developed technology while reducing the risk and cost associated with exclusively licensing intellectual property and sponsoring lab and clinical research. The MN-IP program has been regularly acknowledged in the industry as a leader in developing a streamlined contracting model that is flexible and provides options to suit each company's needs.

Master Research Agreements (MRAs) are based on the Minnesota Innovation Partnerships (MN-IP) program, which provides a range of options that reduce the risk and cost associated with licensing intellectual property and sponsoring research and make it easier for companies to partner with the U of M. See a list of master research agreements at the U of M.


The Create program streamlines the process of sponsoring research and licensing the resulting technology. The program establishes industry-friendly terms up front and lets you control all patent filings associated with the technology developed during the research project. If you prefer, you can wait until the project is complete to license the technology.

Create includes:

  • Exclusive or nonexclusive worldwide rights to the technology resulting from a research project
  • One-time, upfront fee
  • Royalties of 1 percent for exclusive licenses only if product sales exceed $20 million per year
  • Royalty-free if for nonexclusive licenses

Fact Sheet: MN-IP Create

For more about this MN-IP program, contact Leza Besemann, (612) 625-8615,


“University-industry partnerships are not always easy to setup, as they are often subject to various laws and regulations that make for intellectual property transfer from university to industry an extremely tedious and arduous process. We found University of Minnesota a fantastic place to collaborate and partner, with their extremely industry-friendly and forward-looking MN-IP initiative, which lays out an awesome foundational framework for us to foster a win-win collaborative agreement.”
Ramana Kompella, Head of Research, Emerging Tech and Incubation, Cisco

“The University of Minnesota has a unique approach in eliminating the need for protracted negotiations over IP by allowing the sponsoring company to pre-pay a fee and receive an exclusive worldwide license, and all associated royalties. By taking a flexible approach to negotiations, universities are trying to encourage more industry partnerships.”
– U.S. Department of Commerce

“Intellectual property issues are frequently cited as a barrier to industry-university collaborative development and commercialization of new technology. I believe the new approaches toward IP licensing that the University of Minnesota is taking represent a step toward fostering greater industry-university collaboration by significantly reducing or eliminating those IP issues.”
– Karl Haider, Research Fellow, Industrial Operations, New Technologies, Bayer Material Science


Company Logos: American Peat Technology, International Cardio Corporation, Bayer, Ecolab, Boston Scientific

Try & Buy

The Try & Buy program provides a low-cost, low-risk method for licensing existing University technologies. You can take available technologies for a low cost “test-run”—or even try them fee-free, if qualified—to test the whether the technology fits your company.

Try & Buy includes:

  • Low-risk, low-cost trial to the technology with pre-set licensing terms
  • A small fixed fee for the trial period with no other costs
  • No U.S. patent costs due until the patent issues
  • Royalty-free product revenue for the first $1 million
  • Minnesota companies receive discounts for the trial period and royalty rate
  • Exclusive worldwide license to the technology

Fact Sheet: MN-IP Try & Buy