(1) RAP fulfilled its contractual obligations to WITI on the DiCast project in October 2000. The ~$900,000 project was completed under budget by more than $150,000.
(2) The software system passed several one-month-long reliability and quality tests on its first attempts. This entitled WITI and RAP to a contractually stipulated bonus from their client. RAP's portion of this bonus was about $110,000.
(3) In addition, through a licensing agreement between WITI and the UCAR Foundation, RAP received a rumored ~$640,000. These were royalties received for the license of UCAR technology.
Therefore, I estimate that RAP has netted more than $900,000 from the work on this project.
My questions have to do with the royalties received for the license of UCAR technology, referred to in (3) above.
It is my understanding that under UCAR's IP policy, for nonpatented technology, it is left to the discretion of the division director to name key contributors, if any, who are entitled to a share of any royalties.
Recently, the RAP division director has named key contributors for the technology licensed to WITI in two separate actions. First, seven individuals were nominated by the RAP division director for the prestigious UCAR Technology Advancement Award for their work on the DiCast project. Second, the division director selected eight individuals (the aforementioned seven plus one additional key contributor) to receive small incentive awards from the bonus money described in (2) above. These two actions clearly indicate that the RAP director has identified the key contributors to the technology and that their contributions were beyond what is expected as normal work product.
My questions are:
(1) How much money did the UCAR Foundation receive from WITI as a result of the licensing agreement? How much of this money received by the foundation has been distributed to each of UCAR, NCAR, RAP, and any other entities?
(2) Now that the RAP division director has identified the key contributors, when will distributions of the licensing royalties to employees occur?
So the answer to the questioner's first questions is that (1) while the UCAR Foundation did not receive any money from WITI as a result of the licensing agreement, it did receive almost $2 million in cash from the sale of WITI; and (2) out of those cash proceeds, the UCAR Foundation will pay $640,000 to RAP over a three-year period.
The questioner is correct in saying that under UCAR's IP policy it is
left to the discretion of the division director to name any key
contributors who are entitled to a share of any royalties. However, the
questioner then states that individuals who were nominated for a
Technology Advancement Award and given an incentive award have been
named as key contributors. This is not the case. Each of these actions
stands on its own. UCAR Policy 1-1-8 states, "It is the responsibility
of the individual Division/Program Directors to identify individual
inventors or key contributors
I would like to point out that most division directors have not named key contributors when nonpatented technology is being commercialized. This has been true for NCAR Graphics, COMET modules, and GPS dropsondes, to name a few. While I don't pretend to speak for the various division directors, I believe they generally are of the opinion that these technologies are evolutionary in their development and are typically the result of many years of effort by a large number of people over a long period of time. Selecting the small group of people who happened to be involved at the moment the technology was transferred to the private sector would not recognize the efforts of past or future contributors, or those of supporting personnel who helped sustain the development.
In this particular case, it is my understanding that the director of RAP is using the funds RAP received from the UCAR Foundation to continue the DiCast development project because there are no other sponsorship funds available for that effort. Without the funds from the foundation, the DiCast project could have been abandoned and the team disbanded. I do not know whether any layoffs would have been necessary. Most directors use their royalty proceeds in this way, to fund or enhance efforts that are of key importance to the mission of the division but that might not otherwise receive the needed support.
The Staff Notes Monthly article refers to 90% of revenue going to the programs and divisions, but the Web site states that 50% of the revenues will be retained by the UCAR Foundation and the division/program will receive 50% of the remainder. The article also refers to an active role in the IP & TT process for the division/program, while the Web site does not include any reference to the division/program in the Responsibilities section. Finally, the article refers to a major revision of the IP & TT policy in 1998, while the Web site lists a 12/94 date at the bottom.
My questions are:
(1) What is UCAR's current intellectual property and technology transfer policy?
(2) Is UCAR required to notify staff when changes are made to distribution percentages or other sections of the IP & TT policy? (Web references: Policy 1-1-8, IP & TT, Provision 8 and Policy 1-1-2, Policy Manual Applicability and Adherence, Responsibilities 1)
(3) Why has the IP & TT policy not been updated on the Web and UCAR staff notified?
(4) When will the IP & TT policy be updated on the Web and UCAR staff be notified?
(1) Who made the decision?
(2) What was the rationale?
(3) Why was the Director's Conference Room deemed expendable?
(4) Is any space near the North ML tower being offered as a replacement?
The President's Council based its original decision on the very limited use of the DCR as reflected in the room-reservation system. Judging by the concerns expressed when the decision was announced, it's clear that there is usage above and beyond what we officially record. I ask that people remember to reserve rooms they need so that we are dealing with the best information possible! This information is used to determine priorities for multimedia needs, wiring, etc.
Edited by Bob Henson,
Prepared for the Web by Jacque Marshall
Last revised: Thu Mar 22 15:52:04 MST 2001