Why We Joined Wellspring – from the CEO of IP Pragmatics

June 07, 2023

In February we were pleased to announce IP Pragmatics becoming part of Wellspring, the culmination of a partnership that started 6 years ago. Both then and now, our work together has been a reflection of our common goal to build end-to-end tech transfer, IP, and innovation management solutions that combine software and services.

Why now, you might ask? On one level, it’s straightforward – intuitively, we knew the fit was a good one. After years of working together side-by-side, my team at IP Pragmatics had learned to trust the Wellspring folks without question (and vice versa, I’d hope). Together we’ve tackled client problems, debated the future of innovation, and shared more than a few rounds of drinks (and smiles). We could also sense that the world was ready for us to merge. Across the Tech Transfer and Innovation community, there is a growing need for more than just point solutions. When it comes to innovation and IP, institutions and companies need help staffing their organizations for success. They want answers to complex challenges, supported by systems and processes that are durable, adaptable, and extensible. By combining Wellspring and IP Pragmatics, we are now able to address these needs much more seamlessly – and as a result, to improve our service for clients across the spectrum.

My own journey into technology transfer started in the mid-1990s with a technology acquisition and licensing role covering Europe for what was then Zeneca Agrochemicals (now Syngenta). This was followed by 4 years working for an independent technology licensing company that represented technology from universities and research institutes. Twenty years ago, many universities, particularly in the UK and Europe were just beginning the development of their own technology transfer ecosystems. Seeing the demand for expertise, we founded IP Pragmatics with a vision to provide joined-up technical, commercial, and IP advice to these organisations, as well as corporates building their own innovation pipelines. 

In the intervening years, we have been joined by a brilliant team that has worked with more than 100 universities globally, providing IP assessments (IDF reviews, patent landscaping, IP valuations), market research, licensing support (from technology marketing through to hands-on transaction support), and patent and trademark renewals – as well as strategic advice to governments, government funding bodies, and universities/research institutes. Whilst the ecosystem has evolved immeasurably during the past 20 years, many of the same challenges remain. This is particularly true with respect to the systems, processes, and skills required to run a technology transfer office. Data has become a key component of this challenge, whether it is for internal team management purposes, for reporting KPIs to university senior management, or (as is increasingly being required) for reporting to third-party funders and government departments.

The partnership we started with Wellspring back in 2017 was a recognition that we each had complementary offerings to help busy technology transfer offices optimise their processes. As part of one company, with over 900 clients combined, we can now take this one step further by providing clients with end-to-end technology transfer solutions, combining software and services under what we now call “Office as a Service”. Alongside Wellspring’s leading technology transfer management software, Sophia, Office as a Service will help clients with all aspects of technology transfer, from database entry management services through to technology marketing and licensing, with support for all the steps in between.  

We are excited to be entering this new chapter and we look forward to having the opportunity to see how we can help your organization thrive in today’s “grand game” of innovation.

Rupert Osborn 

Managing Director, Europe

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