India must focus on IP creation, commercialisation: ICRIER report

Our Bureau New Delhi | Updated on June 26, 2018

‘Lack of funds for research a major concern’

To harness India’s potential as an innovation ecosystem there needs to be more focus on Intellectual Property creation and commercialisation. But, there is a huge gap in this space, according to a recent report.

A white paper ‘India as an Innovation Economy: Role of IP and ICT’ released by the Indian Council for Research on International Economic Relations (ICRIER) and the European Business and Technology Centre (EBTC) observed that to realise the potential, research funding from public and private domains should increase.

India is the second largest telecommunication market with Information and Communication Technology (ICT) revenue expected to reach $225 billion in 2020. But, as a country we lack in terms of innovation and filing Intellectual Property (IP) due to lack of funds to create innovative solutions.

According to a report from the Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion, patent filing in India increased by 5.1 per cent from 2016-17 to 2017-18. But, of the 45,057 patents filed in 2017, as reported in the World Intellectual Property Organisation, only 29 per cent were filed by residents and the rest were from foreign innovators. In the case of China, more than 96 per cent of the over 13 lakh patents filed were from residents. The low level of patent filing in India needs to improve, the report said.

Poor investment

Currently, India invests less than 1 per cent of the public fund in research compared to developed countries which invest 4 per cent. Tania Friederichs, Minister Counsellor, Delegation of the European Union to India, said at the release of the report here on Tuesday, that “India is a weak innovator but the potential is there.”

To utilise its full potential, investment and support from the private sector in research is necessary. The report suggested that patent filing can be increased through collaboration between the Indian Patent Office and other leading IP offices of world such as the European Patent Office through sharing of data and information.

Commercialisation and dispute mechanism are other major challenges. While many scientists work on creating IP, there is no much focus on commercialisation. Alka Chawla, Associate Professor, Delhi University and National Expert Europe India IP Facilitation Forum, EBTC, and author of the paper, said, “Non-commercialisation of IP is not only a loss to the creator and the government but also a loss to the economy.”

Chawla suggested that IP could be monetised through market-driven approach rather than a regulatory approach. It will encourage local investment in developing new technologies.

Published on June 26, 2018

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