In 2002, when Germany adopted a Bayh-Dole-type of Act, German universities received the first right to decide on how to deal with the IP ownership for inventions developed by researchers and academics (before that date the so-called “Professors’ privilege” system applied).
In 2008, in order to identify new ideas and to provide the best possible support in turning them into marketable technologies, the TTO at RWTH Aachen established a new scouting system in addition to traditional policies related to invention disclosures. The TTO created a team of 5 Innovation Scouts with hybrid academic and industry background. The Innovation Scouts systematically went to departments, institutes, and laboratories to meet directly with researchers and scientists. They tried to create trustworthy relationships with researchers and become the first people with whom they could talk on IP and commercialization issues.