Premier institutes such as IIM-Ahmedabad, ISB Hyderabad and IIT-Bombay seeking funds for nascent stage innovation projects

Published On: 07 Aug 2012

 | Last Updated On: 07 Aug 2012

In a bid to incorporate technical know-how and management expertise, leading institutes including, IIMs, IITs and IISc Bangalore are emphasizing on commercializing innovation, which includes acquiring fund for nascent stage projects, cross functional agreements and creating innovation products.

For instance a private equity firm based in Paris that endows in environmental technologies concentrated on Asia approached IIT-B to finance innovation products that are still at early stage. IIT-B is expected to enter into an agreement to commercialize few of its innovation products and make them as per market requirements.

Commercialization of innovation products holds extreme importance for the institutes. Generally, financing agencies or firms seek ideas to become market ready to be interested to invest in it. The intellectual property and ideas coming up in India are not market ready.

Increasing number of licensing in the last 2 years has motivated the IIT-B to integrate revenue from licensing as a different thing under yearly research revenue. The institute’s licensing revenue out of the total research revenue has increased considerably in recent times. Institute is aiming to reach target revenue of over Rs 10 crore from licensing in 2013 financial year compare to Rs 50-60 lakh in 2010. IIT-B acquired yearly research revenue of Rs 194 crore in this financial year.

IIM-Bangalore in order to commercialize the innovation products of IISc is taking its one year old partnership with the latter to the next level. IIM-B is in the process of spotting out areas to create specific program to market the innovation products of IISc. The B-school is also seeking similar partnerships with other scientific research and technology institutes. Deliberations are going on to tie-up with a technology institute and offer management expertise to promote their technologies and products.

International institutes such as MIT, Cambridge and Stanford are facilitated with modern resources, strategies and infrastructure to promote innovation products but India lacks all these facilities. India has foremost institutes that can integrate the complementary strengths.

The growth of innovation architecture at IIT-B led to a big leap in patent filing over the past 2 years. The institute registered 66 patents in India last year compared to 46 of 2010 which is a steep rise from average 10-12 patents per year in the last decade.

Today, the governments all across the world are considering innovation as an important aspect of their growth strategies and are thus focusing on promoting it. However as per a recent report by WIPO (World Intellectual Property Organisation) – Global Innovation Index 2012 and INSEAD: ‘Stronger innovation linkages for global growth’, India’s biggest weakness in innovation is its human capital, research and institutions. India was ranked 131 in human capital and research and 125 in institutions. However it was ranked 64in GII. The country was placed second only to China in innovation efficiency index, showing a great potential to transform products into innovation products.

ISB Hyderabad expresses that India needs to create awareness and suitable ecosystem wherever there is possibility of innovation. Students in schools, colleges should be told about the importance of innovative thinking at all level. ISB is in the process of developing an executive program that details on how to convert research and innovation of scientists and professors into saleable products.

The increased focus on innovation ecosystem requires more skilled professionals to train innovation practices. Acknowledging the fact, IIM-A is working to launch an innovation program for management teachers.

Source: Economic Times

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