Indian Institute of Technology Bombay (IIT-B) scheme has helped in classifying the studentsí theses to have critical commercial value, which would have otherwise remained in the public domain.


Last Updated: 2011-04-25T07:31:42+05:30

IIT-B Scheme Help Classify the Commercial Worth in Studentsí Theses

Bombay: Indian Institute of Technology Bombay (IIT-B) scheme has helped in classifying students’ theses to have critical commercial value, which would have otherwise remained in the public domain.
 
Earlier, the thesis reports submitted by master’s students would be put in the institute library and the abstract made available online, this practice was reviewed last year. As per sources, in recent year, IIT Bombay, which has stepped up activities to push for patenting, felt innovative ideas could be tapped from students’ thesis work. Further, once a thesis work is released in the public realm, they are precluded from patenting in India.
 
As a result, IIT Bombay decided to review over 650 theses submitted by MTech and dual degree students in July last year to identify if they have any intellectual property or commercial worth for the industry. Now, at least 17 are in the process of being submitted as patent applications. Prof Rangan Banerjee, dean, research and development, IIT Bombay, said that they have been taking steps to increase patenting at the institute and this was one of the initiatives to enhance ideas that have commercial value, which should be protected.
 
Whereas, IIT Bombay would previously file 15-20 patent applications a year, the number has gone up to 50 now. IIT Bombay has, so far, been granted 110 patents and as of now, over 200 patent applications have been filed.  According to the institute, while over 650 theses were submitted, after the first phase of the review process, around 110 were found to have potential and were probed further. Feedback was also sought from each of the faculty members. In the next step, around 58 theses were selected and they underwent further scrutiny. Subsequently, 18 were finalized and while a few patent applications have been submitted, the other applications are in the process of being submitted.
 
Furthermore, there are in the areas of healthcare (bio-sensors, diagnostic, drug delivery and devices); communication; electrical engineering, manufacturing and microelectronics. Some are also in the area of renewable energy and cover aspects such as energy conversion systems and waste heat recovery. IIT Bombay has also asked its faculty members to submit pre-publication draft to find out if they have material which can be patented.
- By Iti Agarwal
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