Today saw Society for Technology Management flagging off their eleventh annual meet, STEM annual summit 2017. This summit is differentiated as the only platform in India for technology transfer professionals across industry and academia. The highlight of the summit is the release of the STEM survey on the status of transfer of academic technologies for commercialization in India. The survey reveals the need for public research institutions and universities to accelerate the opportunity for commercialization of technologies in the quest for accelerated economic growth. The survey finds that less than 1% of protected technologies from the academia has reached the enterprises to take them to market. There is a significant dearth of technology management professionals engaged by the public research institutions and the publicly funded universities to protect innovations, manage the IP portfolio and engage in transfer of technologies with due validation of their relevance for markets. The survey further finds the lack of institutional policy that encourages the institutional engagement in technology transfer and their subsequent stewardship through the commercialization phase.
Indian public research investment is in the range of 1% of GDP and the research investment has grown significantly over the last decade. The focus on intellectual property management and the reach of technologies to commercial enterprises will contribute significantly to accomplish accelerated economic growth. However, this would require significant focus on creation of needed institutional frameworks within defined policies, professional skill enhancement and creation of dedicated functional teams that would steer the technology transfer within institutions. India is one of the largest emerging markets for in-licensing technologies. The surge in in-licensing has been from private sector to private sector or global academia and the gap can be significantly filled by Indian public sector taking more active engagement in management of research results generated and transfer of technologies.
The summit brought together practicing professionals engaged in technology management in public and private sector to discuss emerging best practices in technology transfer and the way to accelerate technology transfer from academia to industry. In the inaugural address at the STEM summit for Dr S.R. Rao, Senior Advisor to Department of Biotechnology spoke on the topic “Lab to markets, maximizing the Impact of public research institutions”. His speech gave a deep insight into the inner workings of public sector research institutions and the challenges faced by innovators.
“Indian public research institutions and the universities generating market relevant technologies are urgently required to focus on creating institutional framework and engage competent professionals to accelerate technology transfer” indicated Vijayaraghavan, President of STEM in the annual summit. “The public research investment for accelerating innovation in India has potential to provide significant contribution to enhance needed solutions in critical areas of health, agriculture, environment, material and physical sciences with accelerated focus on technology transfer and commercialization” Indicated Shirshendu Mukherjee, Secretary, STEM.