This paper explores how university-based research is utilised via user driven competence centres. Those centres are truly 'Triple Helix born' since they bring together academic and business research(ers) in structures co-funded with public money with the explicit mission engage in user driven Triple Helix activities. It more specifically looks at where challenges in terms of the management of intellectual property present themselves. Following a brief introduction of why the centres have emerged, we present an overview of their key features and draw on empirical examples to develop a better understanding of how they operate in practice. In the final section, intellectual property experiences of two of these centres are outlined. Potential solutions are discussed.