Leaders in the Philippines Look to the U.S. in New Tech Transfer Initiatives
A new Tech Transfer bill that models the US system is under consideration in the Philippines, where only an estimated 10 percent of university-research output is being transferred into industries. The Technology Transfer Act borrows heavily from the US Bayh-Dole Act.
Philippine Senator Angara, co-sponsor of the Tech Transfer bill, recently expressed his views on the new bill: “As countries progress from agricultural economies to technological ones, it becomes crucial for them to accelerate research and development led by their universities. But more importantly, they must translate their technological findings into industrial development. This helps the country shift from a production-based to an innovation-based economy.” Click here to read more about Senator’s ideas to boost technology commercialization.
We hope the Philippines will consider what Bayh-Dole Act left out as well. When the U.S. Congress passed the Act over thirty years ago, the intention behind granting universities the rights to the intellectual property they develop with government funds was to encourage universities to commercialize innovations. To fulfill this promise, most research universities centralized their commercialization activities in technology transfer offices (TTOS). Faculty members were then required to disclose their inventions to the TTO and to pursue commercialization opportunities through this office. While the number of innovations taken to the market increased dramatically, a lot potential has been left untapped primarily as a result of a narrow focus on licensing patents and bureaucratic slowness. Lesa Mitchell and others at the Kauffman Foundation have studied this issue in detail and have proposed ways to unleash more of the universities’ entrepreneurial capabilities. For research on this issue, click here.