The process of developing and commercializing intellectual property involves several steps, moving from an invention disclosure, to the establishment of proprietary rights through patents, copyrights or trade secrets, to a license to an industry to use or practice the know-how or technology. Perhaps because of the applied nature of the Center's research or its historic ties to the coal and petrochemical industries, the CAER is among the most aggressive units at UK in patent submissions. Beyond this, finding a potential licensee and demonstrating the efficacy of a particular innovation necessarily requires fairly wide ranging technical discussions with the product development groups of client-industries. Quite often, samples and materials are exchanged for subsequent testing, prototyping and cost engineering. Even after licensing, the industry will often require close collaboration in the early stages of technology development and scale-up.

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