DoP Study Asks NIPERs To Take Proactive Measures To Promote IPR-Related Research Projects

New Delhi: The National Institutes of Pharmaceutical Education and Research (NIPERs) should take proactive measures to promote and facilitate student participation in intellectual property rights (IPR)-related research projects in order to bridge the academia-industry gap and to achieve self-reliance, according to a study.

The study – Bridging academia-industry gap to achieve self-reliance for NIPER institutions in India – conducted by the Entrepreneurship Development Institute of India for the Department of Pharmaceuticals, based on the research conducted among students, faculty and alumni of NIPERs, observed that only a small group of students were part of any research project related to intellectual property rights (IPR) among NIPER institutions in India.

“This finding suggests that there is a significant gap between industry and academia in the field of pharmaceutical innovation and development. Therefore, we recommend that NIPER institutions take proactive measures to promote and facilitate student participation in IPR-related research projects, such as providing incentives, mentorship, training, and networking opportunities,” it said.

While most students and alumni are well aware of the IPR and Technology transfer, there is still a massive gap in research projects with industry for students.

“Only 17 per cent of the students have previously worked or are currently working with industries on specific assignments and projects. Till academic engagement and classroom pressure are not decreased, the situation will change slowly. Research institutions must provide more freedom for pursuing projects, engagements, research visits, and discussions,” it added.

An analysis of the research reveals a positive trend in creating and protecting intellectual property within the NIPER institutions, added the study. The institutions have actively pursued patent filings for innovative technologies, drug formulations, and processes developed through their research efforts. This emphasis on IPR has strengthened the institutions’ ability to commercialize their innovations and transfer technology to industry partners.

Academic learning for IPR has increased in recent years. Learning from such academic arrangements helps students grow their IPR potential and be confident of infringements. More than 65 per cent of the students have studied a course on IPR. The IPR and its various branches are vital for the country’s
future research and development growth. The percentage can be increased by providing and teaching this course to all the students, the report recommended.

The results of the study indicate that many students and alumni are engaged in IPR related research work and projects. However, 80 per cent of the students and alumni know someone who has been granted a patent recently. This highlights the relevance of the IPR to students and faculty. IPR, in various forms, can be a great source of learning and resources for relevant institutions. There is a need to build and compete with far better countries in this endeavour.

More than 60 per cent of the students know about technology transfer (TT) and technology transfer offices. This kind of knowledge and information proves that students or alumni are well aware and mentally prepared to break into research with industries. Such a thing also needs an academic push, which will help them gain experience through internships and research visits, it added.

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