The COPELABS spin-off model

What is a COPELABS Spin-off?

It is a new venture that exploits commercially research results and intellectual property developed within COPELABS, by COPELABS associats. A COPELABS spin-off may include external partners or associates.

COPELABS provides support in the form of scientific and technological couching; initial infrastructure conditions; project management assistance, and also access to partner investors.

A COPELABS economic activity spin-off is therefore based on scientific knowledge and/or technological know-how developed within COPELABS, University Lusófona. The COPELABS spin-off starts from a concept or an existing prototype and translates results in a commercial exploitation possibility, e.g. product or service. COPELABS keeps perpetual rights for scientific and academic exploitation.


COPELABS Role in spin-offs

COPELABS provides a number of benefits to assist entrepreneurship between its members. In exchange for the possibility to use scientific know-how and technology developed within COPELABS, the association and its founder COFAC c.r.l. is awarded a number of company shares - to the research unit as a whole, and to individuals wherever applicable. The share percentage is dependent on several aspects such as: originality and market potential; whether intellectual property exists and is already being protected; whether or not commercial or project agreements are transferred; the proposed spin-off team (e.g. number of PhDers); time-to-market; SWOT and competitor analysis. The evaluation is provided by COPELABS based on a specific template which members can get via the Technology Transfer section of COPELABS.


Legal Support and Protection and management of intellectual property

For innovative spin-offs, it is essencial to consider support in the form of efficient management of intelectual property. COPELABS partners with European patent attorneys to support the development of both regional and international property rights.

Alternative models, e.g. free models are also explored in the form of licensing agreements specifically tailored to meet the needs of work produced by COPELABS.


Business plan development

In COPELABS, researchers are assisted to transform an innovative idea into a business plan. COPELABS develops work from idea to the prototype level (pre-product stage). COPELABS spin-offs explore licensed ideas, available prototypes, and drive these into an exploitable form.

COPELABS has two consulting bodies, the External Scientific Council, and the Socio-economic Council, composed of international experts that provide valuable comments to the development of spin-off projects. The unit provides a template for both a business and a financial plan - check the COPELABS technology transfer section for further details on how to access this information.

Business Model and Market

The unit assists spin-offers with initial contacts to be established with potential customers and/or partners. Models can be tested on an earlier phase based upon partners of COPELABS, such as GeekGaps.



COPELABS provides researchers with access to crowd funding partners such as GeekGaps and also assists in raising awareness towards potential capital ventures. A second aspect supported by the unit is assistance towards potential external investors, via University Lusofona entrepreneurship interfaces and project.


Finding Infrastructure

The unit supports up to 2 spin-offs freely, for the period of 1 year. The space is based on the units' headquarters, and comprises open-space access; meeting and demo room; Webconferencing and phones (VoIP, 1 access per spin-off); wireless and fixed Internet access based on Fiber via the University Lusófona Campus.