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Transfer of Technology: Indian perspective

Transfer of Technology: Indian perspective
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Transfer of Technology: Indian perspective


     Technology transfer is a term used to describe a formal transfer of rights to use and commercialize new discoveries and innovations resulting from scientific research to another party so that new products such as medicines, educational tools, electronic equipment, safety devices and health services can become available to the public. Because bringing products based on academic research to the marketplace can require significant Investment - and the core mission of academic institutions is to provide high-level education, not engage in business development - many institutions around the world rely on academic technology transfer to identify commercial partners who can advance early-stage academic research and guide the resulting products through any required review or approval processes. Technology transfer aims to help alleviate poverty, create wealth, improve public health and ensure long-term environmental well-being. Technology transfer agreements between developed and developing countries are useful for making technologies available to people in developing countries easily and economically.

     The importance of technology transfer is seen when benefits of R&D is shared with the society especially in developing and underdeveloped countries. Technology transfer is important for materializing the research carried out in laboratories on an experimental scale to a larger scale for commercialization and making it available to public. Centi and Rubio {Jean-Pierre Centi and Nathalie Rubio, Intellectual property rights and entrepreneurship: On the precedence of trademarks, Working paper 29/2005, International Centre for Economic Research Working Paper Series} states that in developing countries human capital is low and technologies are so poor that they cannot invest in R&D, thus they should benefit from technology transfer. Indian government is taking lead for establishment of national research laboratories; however, private sector research is an untrodden path awaiting to be explored.

     The  existence  and  growth  of  small  and  medium  enterprises  (SMEs)  is  an  important  feature  of  industrial  structure  in  India. Indian industry has been growing steadily since liberalization from its normal interactions with probable tech donors. There has been a bloom of a few primarily Indian biopharmaceutical groups into multinational enterprises. Indian  pharmaceutical  industry  has  emerged  as  a  strong  player within  the  SME  sector,  although  it  is  now  facing  increasing  national  and  international  competition. Also, India has seen that projects with international collaborations have recorded minimal economic dispersion. This has enhanced the confidence of India, a nation that already has conspicuous human resources primed for research and development activity. India has solid positioning in the biotech global market in the low technology sectors, such as agriculture and dairy. Indian research laboratories are close to global current trends on conceptual and technical terms.
     India ought to take proactive steps in accelerating the pace of development of technology at university level, which is available for the private sector for take up and also should encourage internal technology transfer {Janodia et. al., JIPR, Vol 13, Jan 2008, p.28-32} (From Universities to Private sectors). Indian scientific community is heralded for its scientific intelligence and Indian universities and government funded research organizations produce world-class research {Hyndman et. al., JIPR, 10(5) (2005) p.399-405}.
     Technology transfer agreements between developed and developing countries are useful for making technologies available to people in developing countries easily and economically. Many companies, universities and governmental organizations now have an "Office of Technology Transfer ", TTO, dedicated to identifying research which has potential commercial interest and strategies for how to exploit it. Organisations such as AUTM in the US, The Institute of Technology Transfer in the UK, SNITTS in Sweden and the Association of European Science and Technology Transfer Professionals in Europe have provided a passage for technology transfer professionals across the public and private sectors to identify best practice and develop effective tools and techniques for the management of academia produced IP.
     Technology transfer offices may work on behalf of research institutions, governments and even large multinationals. As a result of the potential complexity of the technology transfer process, technology transfer organizations are often multidisciplinary, including economists, engineers, lawyers, marketers and scientists.
     The Department of Biotechnology (DBT) and Government of India supports setting up of Intellectual Property Management and Technology Transfer Offices (IPM&TTO) in the State and Central Government funded Universities and Institutions.  The Office acts as a transfer mechanism for these research outcomes to migrate from the university and research laboratories to the market place for benefit of the society. Some of the Indian Institutes like IMTECH, Chandigarh (Staphylokinase, Clot-specific recombinant Streptokinase, Caerulomycin A - an immunosuppressive agent, Oral recombinant cholera vaccine, etc) and CCMB, Hyderabad (recombinant DNA-based Hepatitis-B vaccine, RNasin - an enzyme-inhibitor, PCR-based markers, etc) have been successful in commercializing their research. Several of these have been licensed as technologies to industry and some of them are in actual usage.
     Moreover, numerous cases of technology transfer are seen in India by various well-known institutions like The Bhabha Atomic Research Centre (BARC), The National Chemical Laboratory (NCL), The Department of Biotechnology (DBT), The Micropropagation Technology Parks (MTP), Cipla Ltd, Sun Pharmaceuticals Ltd, Shantha Biotechnics, Industrial Research and Consultancy Centre (IRCC), Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), Themis Laboratories, Shasun Chemicals and Drugs, Ranbaxy, Dr. Reddy's Laboratories Ltd, Wockhardt Ltd, Torrent Pharmaceuticals Ltd, Elder Pharmaceuticals Ltd, USV Ltd, GEI Industrial systems and Thermax Ltd.

     India needs to chart its own independent priority in tech development, translation and transfer. Also it needs to open Technology Transfer Offices (TTO) within the universities and in all the states and accelerate the rate of technology transfer amongst various firms in India. While, Indian Pharmaceutical and other companies should start involving in basic research rather applied research by collaborating with academic institutions or universities

Contributed by : Nidhi Bhatt- Patent Agent
Editor in Chief : Roshni Parikh
Designed By : Vikash Singh

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