Global tech transfer experts congregate to discuss IPR issues

Scientists, tech transfer managers, policy planners and corporates – from public and private institutions across India and seven other nations including Ghana, Bangladesh, Indonesia, Philippines, Uganda, USA and South Africa -congregated to discuss the IPR issues at the workshop on “Intellectual Property Rights, Technology Transfer, Licensing and Commercialization ” organized at Mussoorie, India, from April 17 to 22.

The workshop was structured to provide an overview on IPR issues both in Indian and international perspective which would subsequently help the 80-odd participants in shaping and improving their institutional policy for technology development and transfer. Efforts for the event came from USAID, Agricultural Biotechnology Support Project II (ABSPII), Cornell University and Sathguru Management Consultants. On the inaugural day of the workshop, the participants including representatives of national research funding bodies took leadership in establishing the Society for Technology Management (STEM) to help nurture professional skills for technology managers.

Distinguished faculty members from reputed research institutes and universities delivered lectures during the six-day practicum on wide ranging issues on IPR. Senior Agricultural Specialist from World Bank, Dr. William Janssen delivering a lecture on the “Role of property rights in agricultural innovation’, contended that innovation often entails partnerships and scientists should understand the real life situation on tech transfer.

President of Association of University Technology Managers (AUTM), Dr. Mark Crowell felt that universities have a major role to play in tech transfer. “More than 200 US universities are involved in tech transfer and there has been an eight-fold increase since 1980,” he expressed. Executive Director for Technology, Enterprise and Commercialization and President of the Cornell Research Foundation Inc. Dr. Richard Cahoon opined that the public research institutions ought to have technology transfer offices for effecting sustainable tech transfer programs.

South Asia Coordinator for ABSPII and Director of Sathguru Management Consultants, Mr. K. Vijayaraghavan discussed on the need for understanding the market and marketing technologies/inventions. Mr. K. Ragunathan, Director, Sathguru Management Consultants, brought the economic perspective in his presentation on `Valuation of technology- understanding the factors in determining value – models of valuation’.

Among the other distinguished speakers include Biotechnology Advisor from USAID (EGAT/ESP/IRB), Washington, Dr. Bhavani Pathak; Coordinator for Technology Licensing Program, USAID’s Office of Technology Transfer, Dr. June Blalock; Director for the Agricultural Biotechnology Support Project II (ABSPII) Dr. Frank Shotkoski; Associate Director of ABSPII Dr KV Raman and USAID, India Mission, Dr. Larry Paulson; Director, UCT Innovation, University of Cape Town, South Africa, Dr Tony Heher; Professor from the Indian School of Business and Chair of K-Hub Incubator, Dr. K. Ramachandran, etc.

As part of the workshop, the participants also worked on group projects on tech transfer.

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