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Thursday, June 25, 2015

PCT Applications 2015 and India

Some interesting bits from the report.:

  • Applications filed in 2014-214,500. National phase entries in 2013-565,500/-
  • Two of the top three applicants were located in China. With 3,442 applications published, Huawei Technologies Co. Ltd. of China became the top PCT applicant. For the first time, over 10% of the top 50 PCT applicants were from China.
  • Computer technology became the field with the highest number of PCT applications published (17,653) in 2014. It was followed by digital communication (16,165) and electrical machinery (15,220). Relative Specialization Index for India is highest in Pharmaceuticals.
  • Philips, Netherlands top the list of 50 PCT applicants (1995-2014).
  • From India, 1394 PCT applications were filed in 2014,little lower than Israel and higher than Singapore. China filed over 25,000/-
  • PCT applications as a share of resident applications for India was 0.13 implying that only 13% of those that filed for patents in India in 2013 filed for PCT in 2014. Israel, Singapore have conversion more than one reflecting numerous PCT applications with no prior residence filing.
  • Share of independent innovators is significant for middle income countries with Russia and South Africa leading in this classification.
  • Share of PCT applications with foreign co-applicant is relatively higher for India compared to China.
  • National Phase entries in India were 27,592 in 2013, higher than Brazil, Russia, South Africa.  Approximately 30% (1,176) of all NPEs originating in India were destined for the USPTO with 452 heading towards Europe.


Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Future Work Skills 2020

This report was brought out by The Institute for the Future (IFTF) and The University of Phoenix Research Institute; High lights:
six drivers of change

  1. Extreme Longevity
  2. Rise of smart machines and systems
  3. Computational world
  4. New Media ecology
  5. Super Structured organisations
  6. Global Connected world

Key skills needed in the workplace

  1.  sense making- :ability to determine the deeper meaning or significance of what is being expressed.
  2. social intelligence-ability to connect to others in a deep and direct way, to sense and stimulate reactions and desired interactions.
  3. novel & adaptive thinking- proficiency at thinking and coming up with solutions and responses beyond that which is rote or rule-based.
  4. cross-cultural competency-ability to operate in different cultural settings.
  5. computational thinking- ability to translate vast amounts of data into abstract concepts and to understand data-based reasoning.
  6. new media literacy- ability to critically assess and develop content that uses new media forms, and to leverage these media for persuasive communication.
  7. transdisciplinarity-  literacy in and ability to understand concepts across multiple disciplines.
  8. design mindset-ability to represent and develop tasks and work processes for desired outcomes.
  9. cognitive management- ability to discriminate and filter information for importance, and to understand how to maximize cognitive functioning using a variety of tools and techniques.
  10. virtual collaboration- ability to work productively, drive engagement, and demonstrate presence as a member of a virtual team.

Monday, June 22, 2015

Intellectual property rights and firm performance in Europe: an economic analysis

This study was based on available observations of 132 277 firms. IPR owners’ is defined as firms that owned at least one patent, trade mark or design, or any combination thereof. The groups of ‘ Patent owners, ‘ Trade mark owners’ and ‘ Design owners’ are defined as firms that owned at least one of the particular IPRs. Since many firms owned combinations of the three IPRs, the owners of the various IPRs overlap. The dataset was constructed in such a way that of the companies examined, about half, or 63 288,have at least one patent, trade mark or design in their portfolio.
While the majority of SMEs in Europe do not own IPRs, those that do own IPRs have significantly higher revenue per employee. In the case of large companies, revenue per employee is 4 per cent higher for IP owners than for non-owners. Here the analysis shows that 4 out of 10 large companies in Europe own IPRs, but the association with higher

revenue per employee is less pronounced than in the case of SMEs.

Download the report.

Friday, June 19, 2015

FRAND in India: India Judiciary and Competitive Commission of India differ

Debate on FRAND terms for SEP (Standard Essential Patents) is hotting up. Two important articles published today:
First from India by Vinod Dhall in Financial express ` Standard-setting, a reason for foreclosing competition?
Second "FRAND in India: The Delhi High Court's emerging jurisprudence on royalties for standard-essential patents" by J. Gregory Sidak (Criterion Economics), has been published online by the Journal of Intellectual Property Law & Practice (2015).

From interim orders it appears Delhi High court considered Royalty on final products as a better norm whereas CCI consider it as a bitter norm and favour royalty on chip sets.

Watch out as this decision will be critical to Innovate-In-India and/or Make-In-india.

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

The State of Innovation 2015-Thompson Reuters

Some interesting aspects:

1. Aerospace & Defence- China makes to the top five innovators with Jiangxi Hongdu Aviation
Industry Group Corp. LTD, Top place in Asia for space technology innovators is taken by Korea, Korea Aerospace Research Institute with 147 inventions.
2. Three Chinese institutes figure in top 5 of Biotechnology Innovators, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Jiangnan University, Zhejiang University.
3. University of Sao Paulo, Brazil is the most prolific innovator in personal care.
4. All the top five Innovators in Food, Tobacco & Beverage Fermentation are from China.
5.China shares the honours with Japan and Korea in the list of top five innovators in home appliances.
6. There is lot of patenting in IT, mostly in computing, with China trailing USA closely. Technical University Czestochowa, Poland out performs others in research papers citation.
7. Japan leads medical devices, Covidien from Ireland also makes it to the top.
8. China, USA and Switzerland figure in top five of pharmaceutical.
9. South Korea leads in Semiconductor materials and process innovators. And also in mobile telephony.

Download the report.

ORoPO- Open Register of Patent Ownership

There are several challenges in finding current owner of a patent.

  • Various estimates from very well informed sources suggest that as much as 25% of the world’s patent ownership data may be inaccurate. 
  • The lack of accurate patent ownership data also increases the frequency and cost of patent litigation.
ORoPO is a very simple, highly efficient solution; a ’market self-help’ solution that sidesteps the complexities and obstacles associated with government or regulatory approaches to accelerate efforts to resolve patent ownership data accuracy.

  • It is an online repository of data relating to the ownership of patents. An open data solution
  • It is accessible to all at no cost 
  • Participation in ORoPO is voluntary, and open to any company that owns a patent 
  • Participants simply upload details of patents they control into ORoPO 
  • Participants can easily update their records – once for all territories – as and when patent ownership changes
  • Corporate naming complexities are solved by requiring that all patents are registered under the name of the ultimate holding company that controls them 
  • The more companies that participate, the more complete the register will become 
  • If ORoPO becomes widely accepted, there is significant potential for it to assist patent registries in validating entries in their own local registries.
IBM, Microsoft joined ORoPO.

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Technology Commercialization- Mars research project on techniques to generate oxygen on Mars using solid oxide electrolysis.

Legacy fuel cell technologies like proton exchange membranes (PEMs), phosphoric acid fuel cells (PAFCs), and molten carbonate fuel cells (MCFCs), have all required expensive precious metals, corrosive acids, or hard to contain molten materials.  For decades, experts have agreed that solid oxide fuel cells (SOFCs) hold the greatest potential of any fuel cell technology. With low cost ceramic materials, and extremely high electrical efficiencies, SOFCs can deliver attractive economics without relying on CHP. But until now, there were significant technical challenges inhibiting the commercialization of this promising new technology. SOFCs operate at extremely high temperature (typically above 800°C). This high temperature gives them extremely high electrical efficiencies, and fuel flexibility, both of which contribute to better economics, but it also creates engineering challenges.

Dr. KR Sridhar was Director of the Space Technologies Laboratory (STL) at the University of Arizona where he was also a professor of Aerospace and Mechanical Engineering. Under his leadership, STL won several nationally competitive contracts to conduct research and development for Mars exploration and flight experiments to Mars. KR has served as an advisor to NASA and has led major consortia of industry, academia, and national labs. His worked for the NASA Mars program to convert Martian atmospheric gases to oxygen for propulsion and life support. Dr. Sridhar and his team built a fuel cell capable of producing air and fuel from electricity generated by a solar panel.They soon realized that their technology could have an even greater impact here on Earth. In 2001, when their project ended, the team decided to continue their research and start a company. Originally called Ion America, Bloom Energy, was founded with the mission to make clean, reliable energy affordable for everyone on earth.
Enigmatically, for months the firm’s webpage contained only a clock that counted down to Feb. 24, 2010, signaling a major event was to occur. Just days before the event, publicists for the Sixty Minutes television show spread word that they would air a sneak peak of Bloom “Box” fuel cells that might be “an energy breakthrough.” The Sixty Minutes’ story revealed that Bloom had developed and manufactured 100-kilowatt SOFC stacks that had already been in successful operation at big named firms, such as Bank of America, eBay and Google. In fact, Bloom demonstrated that its SOFC units that could be easily “plugged in” to a company’s power network after being set in place with a forklift. Srindhar claimed that his design avoided the use of expensive catalysts, such as platinum, and he displayed his solution that consisted of two square, white panels, one imprinted with a green “ink,” and the other with black.

Monday, June 15, 2015

InnovaCities 2015 - 5th Global Exhibition of Inventions for Happy, Creative, Human and Smart Cities, Nov 10-13, Brazil

InnovaCities 2015 - 5th Global Exhibition of Inventions for Happy, Creative, Human and Smart Cities will be held at Nov 10-13th at one of the most beautiful cities of Brazil and the place which has one of the the 7 beauties of the world - Iguassu Waterfalls.
InnovaCities is the biggest and the most important inventions and innovations event in Latin America and will be gather together inventors, scientists, entrepreneurs, students and teachers, all showing their solutions to make the cities better place to live regarding sustainability, connectivity, accessibility, public health, education, security etc.
Venue: Convention Center – Foz do Iguaçu (Paraná, Brazil)
organised by:  ABIPIR – International Brazil Innovative Inventors,
Scientists and Entrepreneurs Association.
Contact person: 
DSc. Marcelo Vivacqua
Presidente - ABIPIR - (
Representantative of Executive Committee of IFIA at American Continent - IFIA (
Contacts: 55 (27) 998 861 415 - Skype: marcelo_vivacqua
Note: Indian innovators can contact Indian Innovators Association for assistance.

Friday, June 12, 2015

Promoting Industrial Research: A herculean task for orphaned department- DSIR

DST has published a white paper `Simulation of Investment of Private Sector into Research and Development in India ' (2013) prepared by joint committee of industry and government. The committee addressed the very fundamental question- how much is private sector investment in R&D today. The clear answer- no one knows
Excerpts from the report:
Tax Foregone in 2012-13 for supporting private sector R&D was estimated at Rs 6335 crores.Based on this investment by private sector in R&D is computed as Rs 19,197 crores. The committee says that  these are gross estimates and would not include the direct investments of private sectors which are not covered by Section 35 (2AA) and Section 35 (2AB). R&D investments are meant for 100% write-off in the first year. Reliable estimates of investment which are actually eligible for 100% writeoff in the first year are not known. Current CAGR of tax foregone since 2 years is 16.3%. Based on CAGR it is estimated that private sector investment into R&D, eligible for being considered under Section 35 (2AA) and Section 35 (2AB) are estimated to be Rs. 40,844 Crores by 2017.

The committee flagged another important aspect-R&D risks and failure management:
Current financial audit procedures are risk averse and prohibit risky ventures. In the deployment of public funds and loans from banks especially, R&D led innovations do not receive adequate support. Inputs / Suggestions received from stakeholders 
3.7.1 Work out provisions for writing off government loans/grants for private sector R&D failures. Caps may be defined for small, medium and large firms. 
3.7.2 Institute a simple and one-window apex system in the Ministries to clear such items expeditiously. 
3.7.3 A professional expert group involving financial experts may be commissioned to study the Israel and Singapore models for adaptation to suit the national innovation eco system.  

The Billion rupee question- who is going to implement this.
As per business allocation, DSIR ( Department of Scientific and Industrial Research) is responsible for management of both CSIR and industrial research of private sector. The fiscal incentives are administered by DSIR so also minor grants for R&D.However, for historical reasons, DSIR never has a full fledged, independent Secretary, most of the years DG, CSIR also discharged responsibilities as Secretary, DSIR.
Can the orphaned department take up the herculean task of promoting industrial R&D in India on a scale compatible with Make-In-India vision? 

Thursday, June 11, 2015

ET Startup awards 2015

The Economic Times Startup Awards have been instituted to celebrate the finest and bravest who risked everything to launch a new enterprise. It is a recognition of the sweat and tears that went into shaping what will drive the nation's economic engines tomorrow. In a way therefore, the awards salute the entrepreneurs and also seek to inspire the dreamers and daredevils in all of us. Zinnov Consulting and iSpirt are knowledge partners.

Applications are invited from both startups and investors for 8 categories of awards (7 for startups and 1 for investors). To be eligible to apply, startups must fulfill all the following conditions:
  1. Applicant/Entrepreneur must be an Indian national, resident in India, and above 18 years of age on 22 June 2015.
  2. Startup should be registered in India no earlier than 01 Jan 2009. Startups registered before 01 Jan 2009 are not eligible. In the case of one award category – Comeback Kid – the previous, failed enterprise of the entrepreneur should have been registered no earlier than 01 Jan 2005.
  3. Startup should have raised a minimum of Rs 10 lakhs as external capital or have minimum revenue of Rs 10 lakhs in 2013-14. This condition is waived off only for one award category – Bootstrap Champ.
  4. The startup should have a minimum of 5 employees on full-time payroll at the time of application.
Once applicants fulfil the above criteria, they may apply to one or more of the following 8 award categories.
The startup that has displayed the greatest growth over the last year and has the potential to become a blue-chip corporation. The quality of the founding and management team will be an important component in decision-making.
This award will recognize a startup founded by a student while studying. Of course, the startup should now be building a commercial enterprise and therefore, there must be some level of validation of its business model by investors and/or customers. College projects don't qualify.
This award will recognize innovations that have the potential to launch a business or give it a big boost. It should be an original idea that is core to the business or an idea that provides the differentiation to set it apart from competition.
The startup that has shown great growth without external funding of any sort (excluding family and friends) and has the potential to scale up into a large enterprise.
A startup launched and led by a woman that demonstrates superior performance in its competitive space. The female founder/co-founder should be involved in the operations of the company.
This is the award that recognizes that failure is the essential first step to success. It seeks to dilute the stigma associated with failure in our country. It will be bestowed upon that extraordinary entrepreneur who grew stronger from his or her failure and bounced back with a successful subsequent business.
This one's reserved for those who seek the finest diamond in the deepest pits, and then take the pains to clean and polish it for brilliance. It would reward an investor who displayed the best investment acumen over the last year, defined as an exit, early investment of a notable startup, realization of an earlier investment. The winner will be adjudged on amount invested, portfolio diversity and additional support.
This award seeks to recognize the best startup that offers a product or service as a solution to society's most pressing problems.
last date: Monday, 22 June 2015.

Tuesday, June 09, 2015

Brazil's New Biodiversity Law

Brazil replaced its old law of 2001, considered complex and bureaucratic, with a new law. 

  • National Sharing Fund created with the goal of promoting the sustainable use of resources. For products created from matter obtained from Brazilian biodiversity, a company is required to pay 0.1% to 1.0% of the net revenue obtained as a result of the economic exploitation of the product. 
  • Guaranteed free negotiations over any traditional knowledge and an additional 0.5% of profit to the national sharing fund during the period that the product is sold;
  • If the source of the traditional knowledge cannot be identified that 1% of the profit is shared with the National Sharing Fund otherwise National sharing fund  would get 0.5% of profit during the period that the product is sold;
  • The main purpose of the new law is to facilitate scientific research and the economic exploitation of biological samples of Brazilian genetic heritage. The expectation is that national and international companies, such as those in the agricultural and food, cosmetic and pharmaceutical sectors, will isolate active ingredients from Brazilian genetic heritage materials to develop new products.
Source: Bric Wall

Monday, June 08, 2015

India’s first accelerator for food&agri-business start-ups

India's first Food and Agri-Business Accelerator ( program is promoted by CIIE in partnership with ICAR-NAARM. The three-month long program​, which is the first of its kind in India,​ aims at accelerating, nurturing and investing in innovative early stage start-ups that have the potential to become scalable and competitive in food & agri-businesses. Selected start-ups will have access to an intensive capacity building workshop, individual mentoring & advisory support by experienced industry experts, culminating in an investor demo day. At the end of the program, CIIE along with NAARM and Goa​-based incubator - CIBA​,​ will announce two teams for a joint seed investment commitment of INR 30 Lakhs each.
Last date  for application: 12th June 2015.
Shivam Kumar Choubey,
Project Associate
Centre for Innovation Incubation and
Entrepreneurship (CIIE), Indian Institute
of Management Ahmedabad

Ahmedabad - 380 015, Gujarat, India

Friday, June 05, 2015

Premature Deindustrialisation in India-paper by Sudip Chaudhuri

Though improving the performance of the industrial sector was a major objective of the Reforms of 1991, the share of manufacturing in GDP has stagnated around 15-16% since 1991. This is in contrast to countries such as South Korea and China which have been able to achieve a much higher manufacturing growth. The share of manufacturing in GDP is 31% in Korea and 30% in China. In contrast to the post reforms period, the manufacturing share in GDP went up from 9% in 1950-51 to 15.2% in 1989-90. In fact much of the increase took place during the late 1950s and the early 1960s . This was the period of India’s Second and Third Five Year Plans when concrete steps were taken to develop basic and heavy industries. The planning strategy succeeded in widening the industrial base of the economy. In the early 1950s, just four industries (food products, textiles, wood & furniture and basic metal)accounted for more than two thirds of production. By the early 1990s, their contribution reduced to less than a third. The structure of manufacturing changed in favour of new industries. The share of the machinery sector (comprising electrical and non-electrical machinery), for example increased from 1.2% in the early 1950s to about 12.7% in the early 1990s. The other industries which have significantly gained in importance are chemicals, petroleum refining, transport equipment and non-metallic mineral products.
  The hope in 1991 was that dismantling of trade barriers will create a competitive environment to enhance efficiency and promote growth. But what followed was a surge in net imports rather than efficient manufacturing growth. In sectors such as electronic hardware, the performance both in terms of output and productivity deteriorated. We have seen above how net imports have exploded in both high tech products such as aircraft, telecommunications equipment, optical instruments and also in medium tech products such as electrical machinery, watches and clocks, household equipments.

  The question: will Make-In-India reverse the trend and increase manufacturing share to    30% of GDP?

Wednesday, June 03, 2015

Defence Offsets-IDSA Monograph

Like many other countries, India has a formal offset policy to enable it to leverage its huge arms imports in order to develop a strong indigenous defence industry. The offset policy, which was formally announced for the first time in 2005, has been revised several times, with the latest policy coming into force since August 2012. As per the extant provision of the policy, a 30 per offset is mandated in import contracts valued Rs 300 crore or more. Till December 2014, the defence ministry had signed 25 offset contracts– 16 for the Air Force, six for Navy and three for Army ­– valued at $4.87 billion. 
However as highlighted in the successive reports of the Comptroller and Auditor General of India (CAG), India’s experience of offsets has been less than satisfactory.The CAG observed that offsets in some contracts did not result in any value addition in India; that the foreign companies had a free run in selecting ineligible Indian offset partners for discharge of their obligations; and that the monitoring mechanism for offset contract implementation was weak.In the procurement of Low Level Transportable Radar (LLTR), the French company, Thales was allowed to have Thales International India, its 100 per cent Indian subsidiary, as its Indian offset partner to discharge a part of its total offset obligations of $ 34.8 million. In the case of the Euro 159.3 million fleet tanker contract with Fincantieri (signed on April 23 2008), the Italian company was also allowed to have two foreign subsidiaries (Wartsila India Ltd and Johnson Pumps Ltd) as its Indian offset partners to discharge part of its Euro 41.6 million offset obligations.
Complementing the audit findings of the CAG, this monograph presents further evidence, indicating the poor impact of the policy on Indian defence industry.
Beyond Defence: Offset Policy at National Level
Some countries including India have an offset policy that operates within the narrow prism of defence procurement only. In other words, the offset requirement is not applicable for the non-defence sector. South Korea and Israel are, however, figure among the countries whose offset policy is applicable at the national level for both defence and civil procurement. In the case of Israel, the offset requirements, as enshrined in its official Industrial Cooperation (IC) guidelines, can be applied to any procurement by the state, government corporations and public agencies when the value of the purchased foreign goods or services exceeds $5 million. Moreover, Israel is also in the process of bringing municipal authorities under the offset purview, enabling contracts such as for sewage treatment, water treatment, power systems, etc. to mandatory industrial cooperation conditions.

Download the report: Laxman K Behra