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Friday, December 28, 2018

Improving Technology Commercialisation- strategy papers from India and USA

Towards close of 2018, we see two important strategy papers. NITI Aayog released paper titled- Strategy for New India. NIST released paper titled- Return on Investment Initiative forUnleashing American Innovation. Commercialisation of technology developed in universities with public funding is one of the issues.
What India says
“Lab to Land” time is too long. Renowned public funded institutions like the Council of Scientific & Industrial Research (CSIR), Defence Research and Development Organization (DRDO), Bhabha Atomic Research Centre (BARC), Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR), Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR) Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO), Indira Gandhi Centre for Atomic Research (IGCAR) etc., along with prominent universities across the country, have developed many frontline technologies. However, the rate of transfer of these technologies to industry and for societal benefits is low. The major weaknesses of public funded R&D and technology institutions like CSIR, DRDO, BARC, ICMR and ISRO are their poor marketing skills and information dissemination. Some measures for enhancing technology commercialization by public funded institutions are provided below: 
1. Value addition centres may be set up in each of these institutions for (i) up-scaling technologies, (ii) improving technologies from Technology Readiness Level (TRL) 4 to TRL 6/7, (iii) demonstrating industrial scale pilot production, (iv) coordinating with investors to incubate entrepreneurs, (v) bridging the gap between industry and technology development teams, (vi) enabling formal technology transfer, (vii) enabling commercialization and marketing and (viii) providing technology support during production. 
2. DST should create a National Technology Data Bank in coordination with all publicly funded R&D institutions. This will provide a central database for technologies that are ready for deployment or under development. 
3.Public funded research institutions should consider shifting their focus to the development and deployment of socially relevant technologies in areas such as clean drinking water, sanitation, energy, affordable healthcare, organic farming, etc. These technologies have large potential for commercialization.
What Americans say:
Measures of technology transfer in the U.S. from 1996 to 2015 demonstrate over $1 trillion in economic growth and millions of new jobs. Critical technologies such as life-saving drugs, vaccines, and medical devices, the internet, global positioning system or GPS, and countless other innovations underpinning every aspect of the American way of life are traceable to groundbreaking work at Federal Laboratories, federally funded universities, and private sector R&D organizations. Removing impediments to effective technology transfer and collaboration will accelerate economic value creation. The PMA includes the Lab-to-Market (L2M) cross agency priority (CAP) goal, which aims to improve the transfer of technology from federally funded R&D to the private sector to promote U.S. economic growth and national security. The L2M CAP Goal is organized around the five strategies, which also serve as the organization for the chapters in this green paper: 
1. Identify regulatory impediments and administrative improvements in Federal technology transfer policies and practices; 
2. Increase engagement with private sector technology development experts and investors; 3. Build a more entrepreneurial R&D workforce; 
4. Support innovative tools and services for technology transfer; and 
5. Improve understanding of global science and technology trends and benchmarks.

Indian strategy document is silent on engaging private sector. Can government funded institutes scale up technology from TRL 4 to TRL 6 without involvement of private sector?

Tuesday, December 04, 2018

World Intellectual Property Indicators 2018 : creative economy

Applicants around the world filed almost 3.17 million patent applications in 2017. From 1883 to 1963, the patent office of the U.S. was the leading office for world filings. Application numbers in Japan and the U.S. were stable until the early 1970s, when Japan began to see rapid growth – a pattern also observed for the U.S. from the 1980s onward. Among the top five offices, Japan surpassed the U.S. in 1968 and maintained the top position until 2005. Since the early 2000s, however, the number of applications filed in Japan has followed a downward trend. Both the EPO and the Republic of Korea have seen increases each year since the early 1980s, as has China since 1995. China surpassed the EPO and the Republic of Korea in 2005, Japan in 2010 and the U.S. in 2011 – and it now receives the largest number of applications worldwide. Applicants from China filed around 1.31 million equivalent patent applications in 2017, which is more than the combined total for applicants from Japan (460,660), the Republic of Korea (226,568) and the U.S. (524,835). Those four origins, plus Germany (176,235), accounted for the bulk of the global total. However, it should be noted that only 4.6% of all applications from China are filed abroad, while 95.4% are filed in China. In contrast, filings abroad constitute 43.5% of total applications from Japan and 44% from the U.S.
In 2017, an estimated 1.4 million patents were granted worldwide, up 3.9% on 2016 figures, and represent 17 consecutive years of growth (see figure 1.7). China (420,144) issued the largest number of patents in 2017, followed by the U.S. (318,829), Japan (199,577), the Republic of Korea (120,662) and the EPO (105,645). These five offices issued more than 1.16 million patents between them – 83% of the world total.  India granted 50.2% more patents in 2017 than in 2016, with grants increasing from 8,248 in 2016 to 12,387 in 2017. Non-resident grants accounted for 85% of the total increase.

Applicants from China were the most active applicants in the world in 2017, filing 4,041 plant variety applications. This represents a 48.6% growth in filing activity for Chinese applicants – the fastest growth among the top 10 origins. They were followed by applicants from the Netherlands, who filed 3,320 applications. The U.S. (2,084), France (1,068) and Germany (865) were ranked third, fourth and fifth largest origins, respectively.
Creative Economy:  Data on the 2017 revenues generated by the three sectors – trade, educational and STM – are available for 11 countries. Those 11 countries generated USD 248 billion revenue in 2017. China (USD 202.4 billion) reported the largest net revenue, followed by the United States of America (U.S.) (USD 25.9 billion), Germany (USD 5.8 billion) and the United Kingdom (U.K.) (USD 4.7 billion)
(source: WIPO)