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Editor-in-Chief,   Anatole Krattiger

Editorial Board

Concept Foundation


Fiocruz, Brazil

bioDevelopments-   Institute

The Policy and Legal Environment for Innovation
Topic Guide for Senior Administrators

Why This Topic Is Important

This section covers a full gamut of issues that can shape the national policy and legal environment for innovation and technology transfer. These include the oversight of the courts, legislation over IP protection, ownership, and access, and funding of science and higher education, as well as the need for compliance with international agreements, realistic expectations about the amount of revenues that can come from technology transfer, and the delicate and complex dynamics that can lead regional innovation clusters to succeed or fail. By understanding these issues, you will better understand the nature of the innovation environment within your institution operates, and from the examples of other countries’ experiences you will draw inspiration for how you and your institution might influence your country’s innovative environment for the better.

Key Implications and Best Practices: Section 3

Given that IP management is heavily context specific, these Key Implications and Best Practices are intended as starting points to be adapted to specific needs and circumstances.

  • In an increasingly global world—in which the risk of disease and the effects of agricultural disasters span borders and the benefits of research can come from any corner—the society that benefits from public sector health investment will be global. The public-benefit aspect of government-sponsored research investments should include the poor in every society, including those of neighboring countries.
  • There are many strategies available to increase the resources and tools devoted to the public good that do not run counter to economic development goals and private sector interests. At the upstream end, funds can be directed toward research in developing countries, and partnerships with private and nonprofit entities can be effective. At the downstream end, funds can directly provide products to users in developing countries, reduce barriers to the transfer of technology that benefits these countries, or partner with industry and academia to expedite the development of products from research.
  • The main issue for universities is to ensure a high level of education, comprehensive partnerships with other universities, and collaboration with the private sector. This requires clear IP policies, transparent IP management practices, and sound management of conflicts of interest.
  • Public-Private Partnerships and Product-Development Partnerships (PDPs) are novel, tightly focused organizations, dedicated to providing products to benefit the poor in developing countries. PDPs require that scientists put a priority on delivering global benefits and that universities fully embrace their larger role in society and the global community.
  • A major policy objective is to find a balance between public benefit and economic returns. A university can include a public-benefit clause in its licenses to the private sector, invest part of its royalty stream in a foundation, establish an “ethical” investment fund, license technologies to nonprofits or others who would develop and manufacture products for developing countries, and bundle technologies to encourage development of medicines aimed at diseases of the poor.
  • The ability of the local and national economy to absorb new technologies into existing industry or an entrepreneurial sector can be strengthened through the encouragement of cluster formation. But robust innovation clusters are not created from scratch. They require a long, durable commitment to science education, research, and related infrastructure; a strategically situated anchor institution with a proactive technology transfer office; and reliance on market forces as the engine for technology transfer.

Recommended Chapters       Show All AbstractsShow All Abstracts

Show AbstractAbstract The Activities and Roles of M.I.T. in Forming Clusters and Strengthening Entrepreneurship
by Lita Nelsen

Show AbstractAbstract Benchmarking of Technology Transfer Offices and What It Means for Developing Countries
by Anthony D. Heher

Show AbstractAbstract Building Research Clusters: Exploring Public Policy Options for Supporting Regional Innovation
by Peter W. B. Phillips, Camille D. Ryan

Show AbstractAbstract Compulsory Licensing: How to Gain Access to Patented Technology
by Carlos María Correa

Show AbstractAbstract The Courts and Innovation
by Pauline Newman

Show AbstractAbstract Developing Countries and TRIPS: What Next?
by Robert Eiss, Richard T. Mahoney, Kanikaram Satyanarayana

Show AbstractAbstract Echoes of Bayh-Dole? A Survey of IP and Technology Transfer Policies in Emerging and Developing Economies
by Gregory D. Graff

Show AbstractAbstract Global Health: Lessons from Bayh-Dole
by Rachel A. Nugent, Gerald T. Keusch

Show AbstractAbstract Public Sector IP Management in the Life Sciences: Reconciling Practice and Policy—Perspectives from WIPO
by Antony Taubman, Roya Ghafele

Show AbstractAbstract The Role of Clusters in Driving Innovation
by Peter W. B. Phillips, Camille D. Ryan

Show AbstractAbstract Technology Transfer Snapshots from Middle-Income Countries: Creating Socio-Economic Benefits through Innovation
by Susan K. Finston

Show AbstractAbstract The TRIPS Agreement and Intellectual Property in Health and Agriculture
by Jayashree Watal, Roger Kampf

Show AbstractAbstract What Does It Take to Build a Local Biotechnology Cluster in a Small Country? The Case of Turku, Finland
by Kimmo Viljamaa