Below is the general COI approval process for University Licensed Start-up Companies (LSCs) applicable to faculty, staff, and students at all campuses of the University of Pittsburgh.
1. Innovation Institute
Personnel seeking to commercialize University-owned technology by way of a LSC should first contact the Innovation Institute and speak with one of their licensing managers.
2. Notice to COI Division
Once the framework of an option or license agreement is negotiated successfully between the University and the prospective LSC, the Innovation Institute will notify the COI Division. The Innovation Institute will provide the COI Division general background information on the technology, company, and involved faculty, staff, and/or students.
3. Information Submission Form
The prospective LSC must prepare an Information Submission Form (ISF) for review by the Conflict of Interest Committee (COIC). The COI Division can assist with the completion of this form. Among other information, the ISF requires listings of all personnel taking equity, holding a management or officer position, and/or those University personnel seeking to consult for the LSC.
4. Policy Compliance Statements and Other Approvals
All University faculty, staff, and students who seek to take equity in a LSC and/or serve in a management or officer position, such as CEO, must sign a LSC Policy Compliance Statement. Their supervisors must subsequently review and sign an Approval of Relationship with LSC by Supervisor form.
Personnel seeking to consult for a LSC must obtain supervisor approval, which will be facilitated by the COI Division.
5. Special Reviews and Approvals
Faculty, staff, and students engaging in outside work with a LSC in addition to research activities at the University are subject to additional COI Division and department-level reviews in the following cases:
- Personnel engaging in any research funded by the Public Health Service (PHS)
- Personnel with active human subject research protocols
- Personnel with active animal research protocols
- Engagement in any research of commercial interest to the company and/or sponsored by the company through the provision of funds, drugs, devices, or other materials
- Other circumstances as designated by University Policy RI01, formerly Policy 11-01-03
6. COIC Review
The COIC will review the ISF and other related documentation and either approve or disapprove the LSC. If approval is granted, a formal approval letter will be issued by the COIC Chairman to the company.