DRDO offers 450 patents for free access to industries

M Somasekhar Hyderabad | Updated on November 21, 2019

The DRDO will offer complete access to its patents filed in India without any licensing or royalty fees.   -  iStock

In a bold move, the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) has put its over 450 patents for free access to industries for commercial exploitation. The unprecedented move is intended to provide a boost to domestic industries, especially in the strategic sector through free access to patents held by the DRDO, which has a network of over 50 national laboratories, involved in research and development.

As per a new policy, the DRDO, under the Ministry of Defence will offer complete access to its patents filed in India without any licensing or royalty fees. It has displayed both the procedure and the complete list of technologies on its website.

The technologies, relating to missiles, life sciences, electronics and communications, naval and aeronautics systems, combat engineering, electronics, armaments. among others, have military applications and some have spin offs that can be transferred to commercial market.

The DRDO has taken the lead as other leading R&D bodies like the Council of Scientific Industrial Research (CSIR), Department of Space, National Research and Development Corporation (NRDC), Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR), Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR), which have portfolios of national and international patents offer them for a fee and royalty.

It is welcome step for start ups, entrepreneurs and industries. “It’s better to offer some patents free than keeping them in the shelf and pay hefty protection fee for its lifetime. After all, commercial exploitation is the key factor that should determine patents”, experts told BusinessLine.

‘Not the first time’

In 2000, when George Fernandes was the Defence Minister and Dr APJ Abdul Kalam was the Principal Scientific Advisor to the Government, the DRDO in collaboration with the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) organised a major industry meet to transfer technologies in the DRDO laboratory network. The CII members were given access to potential technologies of the DRDO labs for commercial exploitation. The move was promising, but did not yield much result.

Over 15 years ago, Dow Chemicals, the global multinational chemical giant had in a similar move put out thousands of its patents for access to Universities in a bid to encourage further developments and commercial utilisation.

How to Apply:

The industry must apply with a fee of ₹1000, along with relevant technical and financial details. It will then be screened by an expert committee and if eligible a non-exclusive license for one year will be granted.

Earlier, the Defence Ministry had formulated Transfer of Technology Policy, Make in India initiative, and Defence Production Policy to encourage domestic industries.

DRDO-Industry Synergy Meet

A one day “DRDO-Industry Synergy Summit 2019” will be held at the Research Centre Imarat (RCI) Hyderabad on Friday. Nearly 300 small, medium and large industries are expected to take part.

The topics of discussions include latest policy framework and opportunities created, high technology collaborations and defence manufacturing, defence export and a Panel discussion on challenges and opportunities for Indian industries.

Published on November 21, 2019

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