NI collaboration with UTS recognised

Published in April 2016

Northcott Innovation’s productive relationship with University of Technology Sydney (UTS) was recognised at the launch of the National Intellectual Property Principles of the Australian Technology Network of Universities (ATN).


The Principles outline a standardised approach to intellectual property that will help reduce barriers and complexity in collaboration between universities and commercial partners.

Northcott Innovation has been working with UTS on the Step Climber – an affordable wheelchair attachment that aims to enable electric wheelchair users to negotiate kerbs and single steps – under an Easy Access IP agreement. This agreement allows Northcott Innovation to freely access the University’s IP. It has removed lengthy and costly negotiations and involves quick and simple agreements.

“UTS’ Easy Access IP agreement has given us the opportunity and commercial incentive to exploit the IP rights of our project,” says Liz Forsyth, Northcott Innovation Executive Director.

“We are very excited to see a standardised approach to IP being adopted across the ATN. It will help bring ideas and expertise out of the university and into the community. These IP principles will also help organisations like Northcott bring our ideas to life, to innovate and provide meaningful and useful solutions for our customers and the broader market.”

The Step Climber has enormous potential to change the lives of people who use wheelchairs. Small things like entering a building with a single step or negotiating a footpath with no kerb cuts can be frustratingly difficult for a people who use wheelchairs; to remove this barrier will be no small feat. The Step Climber will further level the playing field and help build an inclusive society.

“Our collaboration with UTS has enabled us to develop the Step Climber and we’re ready to take the step to commercialisation.,” says Ms Forsyth.

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