In the world of academic research, in order to be regarded as ‘productive’, paradoxically speaking, one needs to publish or perish. Although this idea has been floating around since ages, in the current era it does not seem to be enough just to publish and expect your work to get noticed. Beyond the scholarly publications, there is a whole new cosmos where some one not just notices the discovery but also channelizes it to develop into a tangible product that ultimately reaches the consumer. This entire process in which the knowledge is passed on from an academic institution to an industry is known as Technology Transfer. It is a pathway through which findings from fundamental and application-based research are advanced to commercially relevant applications via industries. Research from the lab desk to the market is made possible with the bridging provided by a team of experts who manage the commercialization aspect of research by identifying and evaluating suitable technological developments, file patents, negotiate license agreements along with routine review of similar on-going projects. This coordination is a vital aspect of technology transfer to ensure efficient and smooth exchange of intellect between researchers and potential manufacturers. This academic-industry partnership therefore requires a team that could function as a link between the two to promote the flow of work from laboratories to successful business enterprises.
With an esteemed team of leading scientists and growing scientific community, JNCASR over the last couple of years has been accelerating its progress w.r.t. commercialization of academic research. Having said that, for equipping this scientific community not just with financial support but with technological and legal assistance as well, JNCASR established its Technical Research Centre (TRC) in 2016. TRC, by design identifies such projects and teams at the institute that possess the caliber to translate their research ideas and experiments to sustainable and palpable products and technologies that aims to improve public health, environment and economy.
Through several formal and informal cooperation between technology developers (as in the researchers) at the institute and the technology seekers (as in the entrepreneurs/manufacturers/industrialists either in public or private sector); this team of TRC marches towards bringing the two platforms together in order to tunnel in the science done at the desk to reach out to the common man. Recognition of such areas is extremely relevant for they need proper guidance, counseling and financial support to scale-up the emerging technology at the lab to being innovative and ultimately an established technology. TRC team encourages such research at the institute and primarily manages this interface work through building contacts with potential companies, arranging formal meetings between scientists and company personnel and most importantly protects the intellectual property through patenting/copyrighting and licensing the novelty of research. The later is done during formal transfer of rights to companies/industries to use and commercialize the research product. In simple words, TRC encourages, guides and supports researchers, actively bolsters their work to find suitable collaborations with industries to use and commercialize new technologies developed at JNCASR to eventually benefit the society.
Exercising this process in years to come shall aid the progress of the institute via gaining recognition and reputation for its innovative research potential. Moreover, building a path for research to reach out for greater benefits of the society in terms of health, environment and economy is the primary motive behind formation of this department. In particular, the team plays a pivotal role in helping researchers realize the potential of transferring their new discoveries or technologies out of the lab benches to the hands of industries/companies to test the mass scale production and aim to market their innovation. This process otherwise would be in a precarious state for taking a step ahead both by scientists and industrialists to come to a decision of examining lab research outcome at an industrial level.
Currently the team of TRC is headed by Prof. K.S.Narayan, Dean R&D and is run by Sourabh Gargav and Dr. Kripa Jalapathy who strive to make academic research and industry shake hands. Feel free to reach out to this team if you have some interesting results that is unique and significant to have a commercial value or a fantastic innovation that is directed towards answering or dealing with major concerns of the society.
This is first among a series of articles about the importance and reach of Technology Transfer through TRC at JNCASR. Keep reading to know more!
The article is authored by Manaswini Sarangi, Evolutionary Biology Laboratory, EIBU, JNCASR.
Cover Art by: Manaswini Sarangi.