The first workshop was held in November and consisted of a diverse mix of stakeholders from across the industry supply chain and beyond, including science. The debate centred on the question of the extent to which a treaty should be normative, with the parties inclined to both extremes. We asked what influence current contractual forms have on innovation, what are the most appropriate contractual forms for innovative projects, and at a fundamental level we discussed the nature of innovation in the form of a contract. An interesting point raised by the technology SMEs present was the non-recognition of the nuances of technology acquisition at the site level. Should indirect costs be applied to all research and innovation agreements? If you have identified a partner you would like to work with, contact the Office of Innovation and Partnerships (IPO) or the Research Services Office (RSO) as part of the contract process as soon as possible. It looks like a good idea: continuous improvement and innovation are generally included in outsourcing contracts, usually in two respects. First, the ISG method for continuous annual improvement in service level performance has become the industry standard. We recommend this approach, which has benefited from a successful provision of nearly two decades. Any form of research engagement with an external partner would require an agreement or contract. The Department of Research and Innovation (VPRI) manages funded and unfunded research agreements to ensure that all research activities conducted at the University of Toronto (U of T) comply with university guidelines. The other option for continuous improvement and innovation is generally a Master Service Agreement clause that requires the service provider to submit three to five ideas each year to improve services and technology or save money. Since these ideas may result in a reduction in the fee for the service provider, these clauses are generally supported by gainshare clauses. This means that if there is a significant reduction in rates, a structured program will allow the service provider to reap some of the financial benefits for a period following the implementation of the idea.
In today`s industrial models, the potential for innovation diminishes with the development of a project, because innovation naturally carries a certain risk. If innovation does not achieve the desired result, relationships can become disputes. Continuous improvement and innovation are a way of thinking that can only thrive in a well-managed relationship. Governance excellence is essential – and we find that clients who focus on structure and process in their relationships can not only realize the benefits of continuous improvement and innovation, but also bring other benefits: frictions between the two teams are greatly reduced, problems are resolved in an orderly manner, and the management chain knows exactly what is happening in the service relationship. ISG has developed a tool that allows clients to consider continuous improvement of their own governance and management skills – our sm-G Maturity Assessment. This tool can be used to create management functions for common services and purchased from a client organization, and can be repeated regularly over time to measure the continuous improvement of this essential function. A well-managed relationship is a happy, productive and innovative relationship. Why should the VPRI be included in agreements and contracts? Contract law and formal models of contractual economy assume that agreements are fully adapted. On the other hand, current legal research highlights the role of standardized concepts in drafting contracts.
These lines of research overlook an important class of contracts between these extremes.