Facilitating patents for students' innovation can spur them on to pursuing their research interests.
The Tamil Nadu State Council for Science and Technology (TNSCTC) has made a representation to the Patent Facilitation Centre of the Technology Information Forecasting Assessment Council (TIFAC) in the Ministry of Science and Technology for starting patent cells in the State's four technical universities at Chennai, Coimbatore, Tiruchi and Tirunelveli.
The Council that saw through formation of patent cells on an experimental basis in five universities — University of Madras, Madurai Kamaraj University, Bharathidasan University, Bharathiyar University, and Manonmaniam Sundaranar University — is able to witness progress.
Barring the Bharathiayar University in Coimbatore, where the activities of the newly-formed patent cell will begin with awareness initiatives in the beginning of March, from the rest of the four universities, the Council has received about 60 project proposals. Of them, 23 were from the Bharathidasan University, Tiruchi, the Member Secretary of the Council, S. Vincent, told The Hindu Education Plus.
The number of project proposals leading to patentable products that will be funded by the Council has been increased to 300 from 150. The projects will mainly pertain to life sciences, particularly biotechnology. The Council was keen to look for novelty in the products and will prevail upon the mentor teachers to file patents in the interests of students, mostly those in rural areas, who know the subjects well, but face difficulties in going through the patent formalities in the prescribed format. Such projects provide the right spark for innovation and the activity becomes a turning point in the lives of the students for pursuing their research interests zealously.
The coordinators of the patent cells in the five universities have been instructed to communicate frequently with the respective affiliated colleges and keep them informed about new developments, Dr. Vincent said, observing that science expos at school level provide the right impetus for students to take up innovative projects providing solutions to local issues. Tamil Nadu being an educational hub, the Council aims for substantial progress on the fronts of innovation, research, and patenting.
Dr. Vincent also informed that Biotechnology, Electronic, Textile and Mechanical clusters that have been formed at the council under the MSME (Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises) initiatives will be inaugurated shortly. Potential entrepreneurs will be identified for arriving at innovative processes and products and facilitated to obtain patents and trade mark. The process has just begun, he said.