Information Services

The University's ISG and Edinburgh Innovations Partnership Fosters Industry Relationship Management

The University of Edinburgh’s Information Services Group and Edinburgh Innovations recently completed a project to consolidate Intellectual Property data within the comprehensive, centrally supported Industry Relationship Management system.

The University’s Information Services Group (ISG) and Edinburgh Innovations (EI) recently successfully collaborated to migrate the University’s Intellectual Property data (IP) to the Salesforce-based Industry Relationship Management (IRM) system.

Edinburgh Innovations (EI) is the University’s commercialisation service, connecting researchers, students and staff with industry and external organisations to build partnerships and leverage strategic opportunities.

Having ISG project management support and a structured way of doing the project was essential. The ISG worked very closely with the Edinburgh Innovations IT team and the Tech Transfer team to implement the new IRM solution and then ensure it is supported ongoing by the ISG,

John LonsdaleHead of Enterprise Services, Edinburgh Innovations

The effort was driven by a desire to provide quantifiable, managed information and increase productivity by affording users - including specialists, IP practitioners and inventors - easier access to data on all elements of intellectual property, how the University engages with external partners and how it manages the information internally and externally with sponsors, government agencies and partners. 

University of Edinburgh and Edinburgh Innovations Logos

The project aligns to the ISG’s current priorities to centralise and consolidate systems and data, which  reduces customer data held in silos while maintaining data integrity, functionality and secure access.

IP consolidation in the IRM enables improved service to inventors, Schools and third-party clients and ensures that the University is better informed of activities and can take informed positions on IP commercialisation and strategic engagement between the University and client base,

Brendan McGuckinStrategic Projects Lead, Edinburgh Innovations

With IP data now consolidated in the IRM system, an increasingly a “pan University perspective” and end to end relationship management are possible. Using one system, the IRM can manage all phases of the IP lifecycle including disclosure, evaluation, registration and management of registered patents and licensing to partners.

“Using one tool the University can increasingly see and manage touchpoints from across the University with the outside world. It improves our understanding of what we’re doing with sponsors, individuals, companies and public sector organisations which enables the University to quantify and demonstrate the full impact of external engagement while simplifying reporting and, critically, improving the client experience,” said Brendan.

“During the execution and completion of the project we identified many other opportunities for process and client service improvement. We are gathering up our specifications for a development project that we hope can be implemented in the coming year, which will take the benefits from the system to the next level,” said John.

Group of developers brainstorm session

As another example of inter service collaboration, the phased implementation and user training on the new system was delivered remotely using Microsoft Teams benefiting from insights and delivery by EI IT Team supported by the ISG Digital Skills team ensuring the latest in on-line delivery methods were included. This included two sessions on how to utilise the Salesforce IRM with hands-on experience. As a whole, the IP to IRM project delivery was coordinated virtually across disparate areas of the University.

“The IRM continues to grow in value the more we use it. The Technology Transfer Team had been on a separate system, where they did not have access to common contacts and opportunities,” said John. “The expanded IRM offering means that we can now properly integrate the work of the team along with the business development and enterprise service colleagues that they work with on a day-to-day basis.”

If you’re interested in getting involved with Edinburgh Innovations and the University’s industry engagement, please visit: