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The central goal of the Federal Government’s start-up strategy is to facilitate spin-offs from research institutions. "In the future, the Federal Government will provide more guidance and support in the transfer of intellectual property (IP) and promote the implementation of standard solutions (for example, IP for virtual shares), including the establishment of a mediation board (initially as a pilot project) and a deal database to improve transparency and to prevent disputes. To this end, it will expand its support services for spin-offs from research to allow for the broad use of these standard solutions for IP transfer and continue the ongoing process of developing best-practice solutions by working together with research institutions, start-ups, transfer organisations and other interested stakeholders."

IP Transfer Working Group

The issue of transferring IP rights to a spin-off company was already addressed by the BMWK and BMBF in the last legislative period and it was determined that the policy environment needed to be reformed for spin-offs from research. To this end, a working group incorporating the stakeholders involved in the process of transferring IP rights to spinoffs was set up. Six workshops with this focus were held between October 2018 and July 2022. The work was undertaken together with IP transfer experts from universities and non-university research institutions, board members of Transferallianz and EXIST start-ups, representatives of the Bundesverband Deutscher Start-ups (Federal Association of German Start-ups) and HTGF, business angels, patent lawyers, management consultants and project executing agencies and delivered important results, with further activities also being planned. The working group will have another working meeting in December 2022 and address topics such as the standardisation of IP transfer processes and possibly even the creation of a deal database.


The Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Climate Action has previously commissioned specialised law firms with preparing legal opinions and model contracts, which were presented and discussed at the IP workshops. The legal opinions and model contracts were published in the BMWK / BMBF IP-Toolbox on the programme website

Further results and structured information (e.g. best-practice solutions, legal opinions, etc.) have been compiled in a working document, which can be downloaded on the site.

We invite all IP transfer stakeholders to contribute to the further development of the IP Toolbox and the transfer processes. Please contact our expert Dr Mandy Kursawe ( ) if you would like to share transfer strategies, sample contracts, process guidelines or similar with the EXIST community and/or if you would like to contribute your own topics/ideas and solutions to the working group.

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