Total Pageviews

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Position of TTO in The Universities for Research and Innovation Bill 2012

US is presently debating on doing away with a mandatory TTO in universities. Prior to Bayh-Dole, the invention rights vested with the federal government. The Bayh-Dole Act, allowed universities and small companies to own and manage inventions they make with federal funds. University Technology Transfer Offices played a pivotal role in commercializing the patents. Now, Kauffman Foundation proposed Start-up Act says TTO had become bottleneck and recommends that decisions  to commercialize technologies should be taken by faculty inventors and not university bureaucracies (TTO).
The bill in parliament is silent on structure of this relationship between faculty innovators- TTO-licensees. Is it left to universities to decide as part of autonomy?

Friday, May 25, 2012

Search for new Standards in The Universities for Research and Innovation Bill 2012

What is needed to be called University for Research and Innovation?

For the purposes of determination of standards in higher education, every University for Research and Innovation shall determine and declare, on its website, the standards of such education sought to be provided in such University in its teaching, learning and research:

Provided that the standards so determined and declared by such University shall be higher than the minimum standards in the relevant field of knowledge as specified by or under any other law:
Provided further that where no standards have been determined by or under any law in the relevant field of knowledge, the standards so determined and declared by the University shall aim to maximize relative global scales in the relevant field of knowledge:
Provided also that where a dispute arises between such University and a regulatory authority constituted by any law to determine and coordinate standards of higher education in any discipline or field of knowledge, such dispute shall be referred to a committee of three persons of international eminence and standing of whom—
(i) one person shall be nominated by the regulatory body impugning the standards;
(ii) one person shall be nominated by such University for Research and Innovation, which has determined the standards so impugned;
(iii) one person shall be nominated by a University for Research and Innovation, chosen in such manner as may be prescribed, other than such University which has determined the standards so impugned:

Is this the best way to set standards for Innovation Universities ???

Thursday, May 24, 2012


The bill is tabled in Parliament. Some aspects of the bills are highlighted here:

“public funded intellectual property” means an intellectual property which is the outcome of research and development in a University for Research and Innovation for which the Central Government, or any agency established, by or under any law or otherwise by the Central Government, has provided grants under sub-section (1) of section 20;

Where a University for Research and Innovation creates new knowledge from research which is funded by the Central Government, or by any body under the Central Government and leading to an intellectual property, such University shall as soon as the fact of actual realisation of the public funded intellectual property comes to knowledge, make a disclosure thereof to the Central Government or such authority designated, by notification, by the Central Government.
(2) The University for Research and Innovation shall, within the period required by any law for the time being in force for protection of public funded intellectual property, intimate to the Central Government, its intention to retain the title of the public funded intellectual property and the Central Government shall, subject to such law, allow the title of such public funded intellectual property to vest in such University:

29. (1) The University for Research and Innovation retaining the title to a public funded intellectual property shall protect and utilise it in such manner as it may deem fit:

The income or royalties arising out of the public funded intellectual property shall be shared by the University for Innovation with the intellectual property creator in accordance with the provisions of any agreement which may be entered into in this regard between such intellectual property creator and such University.

IP resulting out of part funding by Government - do they come under this definition of Public Funded IP? Where as Public Funded University is defined as the one whose capital investment is fully funded by Government, same is not clear with respect to IP.

Welcome comments on this?

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Innovations and Research by private agribusiness in India: Carl E Pray and Latha Nagarrajan

There has been lot of discussion on need for second green revolution and very little on who will drive it and deliver the results. This paper can lead to informed discussion on this subject. Abstract from the report:

  Agricultural innovations in India have rapidly increased since the 1980s. Government data and surveys of seed firms show that from about 1990 to 2010 the number of new seed cultivars available to farmers in maize, wheat, and rice roughly doubled, while the number of cotton cultivars at least tripled. Biotechnology innovations went from zero in the 1990s to 5 genetically modified (GM) traits in hundreds of GM cotton cultivars by 2008. Pesticide registrations went from 104 in the period 1980–1989 to 228 during the period 2000–2010. Similar growth in innovations also occurred in the agricultural machinery, veterinary medicine, and agricultural processing industries.
These innovations have come from foreign technology transferred into India as well as from in-country public and—increasingly—private research. Based on interviews with firms and data from annual reports, we find that private investment in agricultural research grew from US$54 million in 1994/95 to US$250 million in 2008/09 (in 2005 dollars). Growth in private research and development (R&D) expenditure was particularly rapid in the seed and plant biotechnology industry, which grew by more than 10 times between the mid-1990s and 2009.
Private innovations have contributed to agricultural productivity and incomes. Research and innovation by private industry led to the boom in cotton exports and to rapid increases in exports of generic pesticides and agricultural machinery. Private hybrids of cotton, rice, maize, pearl millet, and sorghum increased yields over public hybrids, varieties, and landraces. Small farmers in some of the poorest regions of India—the semiarid tropics of central India and the rainfed rice regions of eastern India—get higher productivity with private hybrids.

One of  the suggestion for policy reform:
Invest in public research and higher education, and make scientists available to private research. The number of state agricultural universities (SAUs) and the students they produce have increased; however, the number of scientists at SAUs has declined, along with research funding per scientist (Jha and Kumar 2006; Ramaswamy and Selvaraj 2007). Drastic reforms and more resources are needed in graduate education and research at SAUs to train the young scientists that private firms are asking for. These reforms could include expanding government support for graduate education and research beyond Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR) institutes and SAUs to nonagricultural institutes that have strong basic science programs. ICARs and SAUs should also re-examine research priorities to avoid duplicating research now conducted in the private sector and to concentrate on research for public goods. Where applied private research is strong, public research centers should shift their research focus to basic research that supports private applied research. At the same time, the private sector should contribute more financial and political support to public strategic research.

Any comments?

Saturday, May 12, 2012

The Tech Awards Names N.R. Narayana Murthy Recipient of The James C. Morgan Global Humanitarian Award

Indian philanthropist N.R. Narayana Murthy, who founded tech services giant Infosys along with six colleagues and went on to become one of India's most influential advocates for health care and rural development, has been named the ninth recipient of The James C. Morgan Global Humanitarian Award

"This award honors leaders whose vision, passion and dedication are helping to change the world," said Mike Splinter, Chairman and CEO of Applied Materials, Inc. "Narayana Murthy embodies the spirit of the Global Humanitarian Award. Through his leadership in business and philanthropy, he has improved the lives of many in India and beyond."
Murthy joins an impressive roster of recipients of The James C. Morgan Global Humanitarian award that includes internet entrepreneur Jeff Skoll, education and cross-cultural dialogue advocate Queen Rania Al Abdullah of Jordan, Nobel Laureate and former U.S. Vice President Al Gore, Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates and Applied Materials' Chairman Emeritus James C. Morgan, who inspired the award.
He will accept the honor in Silicon Valley on Thursday, November 15, 2012 during The Tech Awards gala, presented by Applied Materials, in association with the Center for Science, Technology, and Society at Santa Clara University. The award will be presented at a ceremony that also recognizes 12 innovators from around the world who apply technology in creative and practical ways to improve the human condition in areas such as health, education, environment and economic development.

Diploma in Basic Rural Technology” (Batch 2012-13)

Vigyan ashram announced  opening of admission for “Diploma in Basic Rural Technology” (Batch 2012-13). This course is recognized by National Institute of Open Schooling and useful for students interested to learn by hands. This is a multi-skill program in which training is given in the area of: Engineering- (Fabrication & construction& Basic Carpentry, Engineering Drawing & Costing ),  Energy & Environment - (Electrical, Motor rewinding, survey techniques, solar / biogas etc.),  Home and Health (Sewing, food processing and rural lab), Agriculture and Animal Husbandry (polyhouse, poultry, goat farming, dairy nursery techniques).
Course Duration: 10th July, 2012 – 25th June, 2013, Admission for DBRT will start from 15th April 2012, Minimum qualification: 8th STD pass, willing to work by hand, preferably from rural areas.A] Course Fees: Rs.8000/-B] Hostel & kitchen charges: Rs.12000/-pa (Rs. 1000 per month)  Contact: Vigyan Ashram, At Post- Pabal, District- Pune 412403, Phone: 02138 292326Contact Person for admission: Principle Anand Gosavi: 9960865463, 07276353282, e-mail:,

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Protect your Ideas- book available on Flipkart

The easy to read book on Patents, `Protect your Ideas' authored by Rajeev Surana is available at Flipkart. Price is Rs 295. Rajeev Surana relates patents, designs to innovations with several illustrations. Innovators, entrepreneurs would be able to connect with the content effortlessly.

Green Dragon: 20 signs that 2012 is the year of China

Biofuels Digest published this article, which I want to share with readers of my blog. The reasons cited for this assertion are:  Incubating next generation technologies in China, investment in integrated biorefineries, funding research on Aviation  biofuels, African supply chain etc.

Grand Challenge in Global Health- 9th round closes by 15th May

Thursday, May 03, 2012

Effectron offers technology to African countries to manufacture solar lighting products

Effectron is an independent organization under private sector, having in-house R&D and product design centre for Solar Lighting products. They have licensed designs to an Indian Company to manufacture and market them in India. All products have found acceptance in Indian market. They now offer, to transfer  technology to manufacture Solar Lighting products in African country, using locally available materials and resources. All designed products are meant for people living at the “Bottom of Pyramid” and where grid connectivity is poor. Since these products have been designed and developed from concept in house, the firm  can transfer all the relevant knowledge to produce locally, and train technicians and engineer. 
contact: Gopal Darbari, MD, Gopal Darbari