“The Ministry of Science and Technology (MOST) will continue to mobilize its resources to ensure stable operations of IP and technology transfer center networks within research institutes and universities so as to help these institutions enhancing their intrinsic capability in the establishment of IPRs and technology transfer”.
That is the confirmation of Vice Minister Bui Thien Duy at the workshop "Building IP Policy for Universities and Research Institutes" organized by the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) in cooperation with the National Office of Intellectual Property (NOIP) from 26 to 28 November.
The workshop aims to provide delegates with knowledge in IP management, technology transfer promotion, product commercialization, institution/university linkages with other organizations, and the development of a policy on intellectual property suitable for their own institution.
The workshop is part of the activities of the "Initiative on Intellectual Property Environments" project assisted by the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), which aims to improve the capacity for innovation, management and commercialization of technologies in developing and underdeveloped countries. This project has been deployed in some countries in the region such as Malaysia, Thailand, Philippines, India, Iran and Mongolia.
In Vietnam, the project is in the inception phase and will be implemented in the five years 2018-2022. A "Spindle and Spokes" model will be formed within the framework of the project, consisting of supporting organizations (Spindle) and universities and research institutes (Spokes). The Spindle will play a supporting role, coordinating the Spokes in the process of developing technologies, establishing intellectual property rights, providing in particular patent protection for potential technologies and then commercializing such inventions.
The project scope of activities also include training staff for the networks, establishing links between universities and research institutes, and with investors, contributing to the commercialization of patents.
It is eminent that in recent years, Vietnamese universities and research institutes have accumulated capacity, contributing significantly to the development of science and technology of the country. International publications, especially articles in the ISI journal, have also grown rapidly.
However, the "weakness" of research institutes and universities in Vietnam is that very few research results have been concretized and turned into assets. This situation is reflected in the number of annual patent applications lodged at the NOIP with more than 200-300 applications for registration of Vietnamese inventions. It is worth mentioning that the increase of innovations is mainly coming from private sector and other entities.
In fact, universities and research institutes are struggling and showing the lack of experience in dealing with IP related provisions in research contract, and co-research projects with businesses. As a result, these provisions are very often skipped.
We, therefore, have to ask ourselves why research results of universities and research institutes are recognized as good, internationally acknowledged, and many research achievements have contributed significantly to socio-economic development, still tangible results are very limited. To be precise, we are not familiar with how to protect property, turning it into valuable intellectual property, into money through commercialization.
To address this issue, in March 2017, on the sidelines of a visit to Vietnam by Director General of the World Intellectual Property Organization, Francis Gurry, NOIP in collaboration with WIPO held a workshop on Capacity Building for Innovation at universities and research institutes through the "Spindle and Spokes" model. Round table discussions on the status of research and development, patent protection and commercialization of inventions at universities and institutes also organized.
So far, MOST has been able to connect a network of 30 IPs and Technology Transfer Centers (TISCs) in universities/research institutes. Of these 30 members, 20 research institutes/universities have registered to participate in the WIPO-supported "Initiative on Intellectual Property".
After the first interview, WIPO preliminarily selected 12 project participating units. Following this consultative meeting, WIPO will formally sign and implement the Initiative on the Establishment of the Intellectual Property Environment Project. To help with the project implementation, MOST will consider setting up a Steering Committee composed of leaders of management agencies, universities and research institutes. In addition, the Project Office will be established and located at the NOIP.
On the sidelines of the workshop, 29-30 November in Hanoi and 3-4 December in HCMC, WIPO will hold the second consultative meeting with units selected to participate in the project "Initiative on the Establishment of Intellectual Property Environment". Selected project participating parties will receive best support from WIPO and the NOIP to develop intellectual property for their technologies.