Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Indian "National Student Startup Policy" 2016 is launched

National Student Startup Policy 2016
by All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE), 2016.

About the Policy
The President of India, Shri Pranab Mukherjee launched the National Student Startup Policy on November 16, 2016 at Rashtrapati Bhavan. The National Student Startup Policy, formulated by AICTE, aims to create 100,000 technology based student start-ups and a million employment opportunities within the next 10 years. The policy plans on achieving this by developing an ideal entrepreneurial ecosystem and promoting strong inter-institutional partnerships among technical institutions. It emphasizes the much-desired need for an appropriate startup policy to propel the youth of India through and beyond the 21st century.

1. The Preamble:
An analysis of Indian entrepreneur profiles reveals that 32 years is the average age of entrepreneurs and that only 6 percent of them are women. Interestingly enough, the majority of start-up entrepreneurs in the country have a background in MNCs (multinationals) and Indian tech companies (35 percent and 27 percent respectively, from a sample of the report). Only 13 percent of start-up founders have absolutely no experience in the field before launching their ventures (NASSCOM Report). 
Student (owned) start-ups have started to contribute towards market expansion and job creation. Most of the student (owned) start-ups have evolved from technology courses instead of other liberal studies or social sciences disciplines. In recent years, a few technological and entrepreneurship development institutions have initiated efforts to design Start-up Policies for student ventures on their campuses.
AICTE took up the task of designing the 'Start-up Policy for AICTE Approved Institutions' to increase the efforts of institutions as they prepare students for entrepreneurship. AICTE's Start-up Policy would outline roles of the AICTE, Academic Institutions, and TBI (Technology Business Incubators) in creating student entrepreneurs. 

2. Vision:
To create 100,000 tech-based start-ups (student owned) and a million employment opportunities within the next 10 years (2025). This would be done by developing an ideal entrepreneurial eco-system and promoting strong inter-institutional partnerships among technical institutions. 

3. Mission:
To help create a larger number of student-driven, on campus start-ups that will add to economic and social value. To achieve this, the below mentioned strategies would be applied:
- Teaching students and encouraging them to take up entrepreneurship as a preferred career choice 
- Preparing students for successful launching of their start-ups
- Re-orienting academic curriculum and pedagogy with a strong focus on Start-ups
- Developing customized teaching and training materials for start-ups and engaging them in pre-startup activities
- Capacity Building Programmes / Activities for faculty as well as trainers.
- Mentoring start-ups to become sustainable.


Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Contracting for Technology Transfer: Patent Licensing and Know-how in Brazil | UNU-MERIT Working Paper

Contracting for Technology Transfer: Patent Licensing and Know-how in Brazil
by Catalina Martinez & Pluvia Zuniga. UNU-MERIT Working Paper Series, 2016, No. #2016-065.

Abstract: Using contract level data, we study the relation between the inclusion of know-how in cross-border patent licensing agreements and the contractual terms used by firms to deal with moral hazard risks. We use official data on international technology contracts with patent licensing terms registered by affiliated and unaffiliated parties before the Department of Technology Transfer of the National Institute of Intellectual Property (INPI) in Brazil between 1996 and 2012. We find that contracts between unaffiliated parties involving know-how transfer show distinctive contractual and technology features compared to the rest: (i) they involve younger but lower quality technologies (compared to contracts without know-how); (ii) they are more prone to up front lump-sum payments than royalty or combined payments (royalty and fixed); and (iii) they are more likely to be accompanied by the licensing of other IPRs, in addition to patents, such as trademarks. 

Keywords: patent licensing, know-how, trademarks, technology contracts, Brazil 



New Book | The Ethics of Invention: Technology and the Human Future | by Sheila Jasanoff

The Ethics of Invention: Technology and the Human Future
by Sheila Jasanoff. W.W. Norton & Company, 2016, 320 pages, ISBN: 9780393078992.

About the Book
We live in a world increasingly governed by technology—but to what end?
Technology rules us as much as laws do. It shapes the legal, social, and ethical environments in which we act. Every time we cross a street, drive a car, or go to the doctor, we submit to the silent power of technology. Yet, much of the time, the influence of technology on our lives goes unchallenged by citizens and our elected representatives. In The Ethics of Invention, renowned scholar Sheila Jasanoff dissects the ways in which we delegate power to technological systems and asks how we might regain control.
Our embrace of novel technological pathways, Jasanoff shows, leads to a complex interplay among technology, ethics, and human rights. Inventions like pesticides or GMOs can reduce hunger but can also cause unexpected harm to people and the environment. Often, as in the case of CFCs creating a hole in the ozone layer, it takes decades before we even realize that any damage has been done. Advances in biotechnology, from GMOs to gene editing, have given us tools to tinker with life itself, leading some to worry that human dignity and even human nature are under threat. But despite many reasons for caution, we continue to march heedlessly into ethically troubled waters.
As Jasanoff ranges across these and other themes, she challenges the common assumption that technology is an apolitical and amoral force. Technology, she masterfully demonstrates, can warp the meaning of democracy and citizenship unless we carefully consider how to direct its power rather than let ourselves be shaped by it. The Ethics of Invention makes a bold argument for a future in which societies work together—in open, democratic dialogue—to debate not only the perils but even more the promises of technology.


About the Author
Sheila Jasanoff is professor of science and technology studies at Harvard Kennedy School. She is the author of many books on technology, most recently Science and Public Reason and Designs on Nature. She lives in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

New Book | The New ABCs of Research: Achieving Breakthrough Collaborations | by Ben Shneiderman

The New ABCs of Research: Achieving Breakthrough Collaborations
by Ben Shneiderman. Oxford University Press, 2016, 336 pages, ISBN: 9780198758839.

About the Book
The problems we face in the 21st century require innovative thinking from all of us. Be it students, academics, business researchers of government policy makers. Hopes for improving our healthcare, food supply, community safety and environmental sustainability depend on the pervasive application of research solutions. 
The research heroes who take on the immense problems of our time face bigger than ever challenges, but if they adopt potent guiding principles and effective research lifecycle strategies, they can produce the advances that will enhance the lives of many people. These inspirational research leaders will break free from traditional thinking, disciplinary boundaries, and narrow aspirations. They will be bold innovators and engaged collaborators, who are ready to lead, yet open to new ideas, self-confident, yet empathetic to others.
In this book, Ben Shneiderman recognizes the unbounded nature of human creativity, the multiplicative power of teamwork, and the catalytic effects of innovation. He reports on the growing number of initiatives to promote more integrated approaches to research so as to promote the expansion of these efforts. It is meant as a guide to students and junior researchers, as well as a manifesto for senior researchers and policy makers, challenging widely-held beliefs about how applied innovations evolve and how basic breakthroughs are made, and helping to plot the course towards tomorrow's great advancements.

About the Author
Ben Shneiderman is a Distinguished University Professor in the Department of Computer Science and Founding Director (1983-2000) of the Human-Computer Interaction Laboratory at the University of Maryland. His development of user interfaces such as the highlighted clickable link for the web, small touchscreen keyboards, and information visualization concepts earned him membership in the National Academy of Engineering.

Table of Contents
Guiding Principles
1: Combining Applied and Basic Research: ABC Principle
2: Blending Science, Engineering, and Design: SED Principle Blending
Science, Engineering & Design
3: What Science Contributes: Persistence in Understanding the World
4: What Engineering Contributes: Devotion to Focused Innovations
5: What Design Contributes: Fresh Thinking to Serve Human Needs
Research Lifecycle Strategies
6: Choose Actionable Problems that Address Civic, Business & Global Priorities
7: Apply Observation, Intervention, and Controlled Experiments
8: Form Teams with Diverse Individuals & Organizations
9: Test Ideas and Prototypes with Realistic Interventions
10: Promote Adoption & Assess Impact
Making it Happen
11: Why change is hard, but possible
12: Recommendations for action

IITD Lecture "Cycles of Invention and Discovery: Rethinking the Endless Frontier" by Prof. Venkatesh Narayanamurti | 8 December

Cycles of Invention and Discovery: Rethinking the Endless Frontier

Speaker: Prof. Venkatesh Narayanamurti
Benjamin Peirce Research Professor of Technology and Public Policy at Harvard

Date: December 8, 2016 | 5:30 pm

Venue: Seminar Hall, IIT Delhi
Abstract:
In this talk I will reflect om the genesis of the Information and Communications revolution and through an analysis of the hard case of Nobel Prizes in Physics to show that the causal direction of scientific discovery and radical invention are often reversed. They often arose in a culture of so called "applications oriented research" in industrial laboratories and will use those examples to enumerate the key ingredients of highly successful R&D institutions. My views have been shaped by my own personal experiences in industrial research, U.S National Laboratories and research intensive universities. By exploring the daily micro-practices of research, I will show how distinctions between the search for knowledge and creative-problem solving break down when one pays attention to how path breaking research actually happens. I will highlight the importance of designing institutions which transcend the 'basic-applied' dichotomy and contrasting them with models of the classic but still influential report Science, The Endless Frontier. The need for new integrative institutions to address global challenges such as climate change and alternative energy sources will be discussed.

About the speaker:
Venkatesh Narayanamurti is the Benjamin Peirce Research Professor of Technology and Public Policy at Harvard. He has served on numerous advisory boards of the federal government, research universities and industry. He was formerly the John L. Armstrong Professor and Founding Dean of the School of Engineering and Applied Sciences, Professor of Physics and Dean of Physical Sciences at Harvard. From 2009 to 2015 he served as the Director of the Science, Technology and Public Policy Program at the Harvard Kennedy School. He has a Ph D in Physics from Cornell University and a Honorary DSc from Tohoku University. He is the author of more than 240 scientific papers in different areas of condensed matter and applied physics. He lectures widely on solid state, computer, and communication, and energy technologies, and on the management of science, technology and public policy. He is a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and an elected member of the U.S National Academy of Engineering and of the Royal Swedish Academy of Engineering Sciences. He served as the Foreign Secretary of the U.S National Academy of Engineering from 2011 to 2015.

New Book | Cycles of Invention and Discovery: Rethinking the Endless Frontier | by Venkatesh Narayanamurti & T. Odumosu.

Cycles of Invention and Discovery: Rethinking the Endless Frontier
by Venkatesh Narayanamurti and Toluwalogo Odumosu. Harvard University Press, 2016, 176 pages, ISBN: 9780674967960.

About the Book
Cycles of Invention and Discovery offers an in-depth look at the real-world practice of science and engineering. It shows how the standard categories of "basic" and "applied" have become a hindrance to the organization of the U.S. science and technology enterprise. Tracing the history of these problematic categories, Venkatesh Narayanamurti and Toluwalogo Odumosu document how historical views of policy makers and scientists have led to the construction of science as a pure ideal on the one hand and of engineering as a practical (and inherently less prestigious) activity on the other. Even today, this erroneous but still widespread distinction forces these two endeavors into separate silos, misdirects billions of dollars, and thwarts progress in science and engineering research.
The authors contrast this outmoded perspective with the lived experiences of researchers at major research laboratories. Using such Nobel Prize–winning examples as magnetic resonance imaging, the transistor, and the laser, they explore the daily micro-practices of research, showing how distinctions between the search for knowledge and creative problem solving break down when one pays attention to the ways in which pathbreaking research actually happens. By studying key contemporary research institutions, the authors highlight the importance of integrated research practices, contrasting these with models of research in the classic but still-influential report Science the Endless Frontier. Narayanamurti and Odumosu's new model of the research ecosystem underscores that discovery and invention are often two sides of the same coin that moves innovation forward.

About the Authors
Venkatesh Narayanamurti is Benjamin Peirce Research Professor of Technology and Public Policy at the Harvard John A. Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences and the Harvard Kennedy School.
Toluwalogo Odumosu is Assistant Professor of Science, Technology, and Society and Assistant Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering in the School of Engineering and Applied Science at the University of Virginia.

Table of Contents
1. Breaking Barriers, Building Bridges
2. Boundaries in Science and Engineering Research
3. The Basic/Applied Dichotomy: The Inadequacy of the Linear Model
4. The Origins of the "Basic" and "Applied" Descriptors
5. The Discovery–Invention Cycle
6. Bell Labs and the Importance of Institutional Culture
7. Designing Radically Innovative Research Institutions
8. The Need for a Radical Reformulation of S&T Policy
9. Moving Forward in Science and Technology Policy

Friday, December 2, 2016

[UNESCO CI News] CI highlights

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

The Vice President of India released Festschrift on Prof ​Ashok Parthasarathi "A Lifetime of Moulding Technology and Science Policy in India", edited by Dr Sachin Chaturvedi

The Vice President of India released Festschrift on Prof ​Ashok Parthasarathi "A Lifetime of Moulding Technology and Science Policy in India", edited by Dr Sachin Chaturvedi.

Foundations laid by people like Ashok Parthasarthi enabled India to enhance its Science and Technology capacity: Vice President 



The Vice President of India, Shri M. Hamid Ansari has said that the foundations laid by people like Prof. Ashok Parthasarthi enabled India to enhance its Science and Technology capacity. He was addressing the gathering after releasing the Festschrift titled 'A lifetime of Moulding Technology and Science Policy in India' dedicated to Prof. Ashok Parthasarthi, here today. The Emeritus Chairman of M S Swaminathan Research Foundation, Chennai, Prof. M S Swaminathan and other dignitaries were also present on the occasion.
The Vice President said that Prof. Ashok Parthasarthi is one of India's best known Science and Technology planners and he was consulted by the Government during the 1971 war with Pakistan and had a role to play in 1974 peaceful nuclear explosion. Thereafter, he has been closely associated with several of India's defence projects, he added.
The Vice President said that Prof. Parthasarthi built on the legacy of the importance that science was accorded in independent India by Pandit Nehru. As a science policy planner, Prof. Parthasarathi advocated a major restructuring of our policies and demanded higher budgetary allocations to reflect the government's prioritization of science and technology, he added.
The Vice President said that one crucial area has remained neglected when formulating our science and technological policies, has been the development of our universities, particularly Science and Technology research in the universities. He said that he hoped subsequent S&T policy formulations will keep the central role the Universities can play as the seats of innovation and ideas factories for the nation.

Following is the text of Vice President's address:
"Professor Ashok Parthasarthi is one of India's best known Science and Technology planners. A physics teacher, he trained as an astro-physicist, working with the likes of Martin Ryle. He also served in the Department of Atomic Energy assisting the then Chairman, Dr. Vikram Sarabhai.
He was consulted by the Government during the 1971 war with Pakistan and had a role to play in 1974 peaceful nuclear explosion. Thereafter, he has been closely associated with several of India's defence projects. He served as the first, full time S&T policy advisor to the Prime Minister- first in mid 70s and again from 1980-84. He, of course, went on to serve as Secretary to Government of India, and after retirement, as a Professor at the JNU.
This festschrift, which delineates various aspects of his contributions to moulding of India's Science and Technology policy, is a fitting tribute. I see in the list of contributors, names of individuals who have known and worked with Prof. Parthasarthi and are in perhaps the best position to remark on his amazing talent.
Prof. Parthasarthi built on the legacy of the importance that science was accorded in independent India by Pandit Nehru, who not only saw science as solving the 'problems of hunger and poverty, of insanitation and illiteracy, of superstition and deadening custom and tradition, of vast resources running to waste, or a rich country inhabited by starving people', but also dreamt of an India where scientific temper would be the basis of all social interaction.
Two particular contributions of Prof. Parthasarthi, in his role as our top Science Policy planner, have had deep impact on the shaping of Indian sciences and need to be mentioned.
The first was, when, under his instigation, the National Committee on Science and Technology prepared a comprehensive S&T Plan in 1974. The Plan identified 24 sectors "with a view to evolving suitable programmes of research, development and design …..for accomplishing time bound targets". The Plan was geared towards import substitution, adaptation of imported technology, enhancement of industrial productivity, export promotion and building up capabilities in frontier areas and augmentation of R&D. It is not surprising that some of the sectors identified back then including- Nuclear Energy, Space Sciences, Pharmaceuticals, heavy engineering- are the areas where Indian has shown remarkable progress.
The next was in 1980s, when Prof. Parthasarthi was again appointed the Science and Technology Advisor to the Prime Minister. The government issued the Technology Policy Statement (TPS) and a high level Committee was constituted to implement the recommendations of the TPS which included a focus on developing indigenous technology and efficiently absorbing and adapting imported technology. The TPS aimed at fostering linkages between the various S&T institutions in order to generate technology which would impart economic benefit. These were later to transmute into various technology missions that saw translation of S&T gains into practical and public oriented solutions.
Some commentators have, especially in recent years, criticised the over emphasis on import substitution, especially in critical sectors, where perhaps we could have benefitted more from external exposure. But few deny his deep impact on the Indian Science and technology policy formulation or his role in making Science and Technology a part of the highest strategic policy discussion in India.
As a science policy planner, he advocated a major restructuring of our policies. He demanded higher budgetary allocations to reflect the government's prioritization of science and technology. He has championed greater devolution for sectors such as rural development, public health, energy- including emphasis on renewable energy sources, weather forecasting and preserving our bio-diversity.
The foundations laid by people like Ashok Parthasarthi enabled India to enhance its Science and Technology capacity. The one crucial area, however, which I believe has remained neglected when formulating our science and technological policies, has been the development of our universities, particularly Science and Technology research in the universities. I hope that subsequent S&T policy formulations will keep the central role the Universities can play as the seats of innovation and ideas factories for the nation.
I think this present volume is timely and will inform the national debate on the need for developing a scientific temper and formulation of a new science and technology policy in the country.
I offer my best wishes to the editor and contributors to this volume as well as to Academic Foundation, the publishers for the success of the book.
Jai Hind."

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

New Report | Asia-Pacific Trade and Investment Report 2016: Recent Trends and Developments | by UN-ESCAP

Asia-Pacific Trade and Investment Report 2016: Recent Trends and Developments

by United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific, UN-ESCAP, November 2016, ISBN: 9789211207323.

 

Foreword

The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development recognizes international trade as a generator of inclusive economic growth. It adds value to economies, provides foreign exchange earnings to help finance development and enables job creation, all of which contribute to poverty reduction. Taking advantage of its dynamism, diversity and labor markets has enabled Asia and the Pacific to be competitive in international markets. This is evidenced by the rise in the region's share of global trade and participation in associated value chains.

Like elsewhere, however, the Asia and Pacific region has faced protracted global headwinds since 2007, which has impacted the trade sector and its prospects. This latest Asia-Pacific Trade and Investment Report 2016 highlights that the region's trade flows are wavering amid continued sluggish global economic and trade growth, downward movement of world commodity prices and an uncertain policy environment. These outcomes come at a time when the need for trade growth to support the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development is critical.

Even though regional trade did gain some momentum during 2010-2014, the nominal value of Asia and Pacific exports and imports in 2015 experienced a major slump of 9.7 per cent and 15 per cent, respectively. Sluggish growth in trade is expected to continue through to the end of 2016. Forecasts, presented in this Report, do offer hope for a rebound in trade, more so in value, but growth in exports and imports in volume terms will be around 2.2 per cent and 3.8 per cent, respectively.

To its credit, most of Asia's exporting economies have decoupled from the economic cycles in traditional exports markets, like the United States and the European Union, by not only diversifying their export markets but also through boosting domestic consumption and the services sector. Notwithstanding, the region has the potential to lead by example and revitalize its trade momentum, which will be critical to ensuring our future is sustainable and that our societies are more equal.

Concurrent to trade, foreign direct investment (FDI) flows to developing countries have also slowed. FDI flows and regional integration policies have been adversely affected by populist sentiments which have been growing globally. In Asia and the Pacific, growing discontentment with liberalization has to a certain extent been influenced by the inequitable distribution of the benefits of liberalization and rising inequalities. In this context, it is of little surprise that a number of new restrictive trade measures, particularly in G20 countries, were implemented in 2016.

This year's edition of the Asia-Pacific Trade and Investment Report (APTIR) does, however, reveal positive news. With a share of 40%, the Asia-Pacific region is still the largest goods exporting region globally. The region's share in commercial services trade continues to strengthen and restrictiveness of services trade has not increased in the region's economies. Furthermore, the region's active actions towards international investment liberalization helped greenfield FDI inflows grow much faster than the global average. Significant progress was also witnessed in the region's efforts to decrease trade costs, illustrated by the Framework Agreement on Facilitation of Cross-border Paperless Trade in Asia and the Pacific. A significant number of economies in our region have also already ratified the WTO Trade Facilitation Agreement, with the 12 remaining Asia-Pacific economies on track to ratify the Agreement soon.

In addition to these developments, Asia and the Pacific also witnessed the first signs of some consolidation among the preferential trade activities in the region. Nevertheless, after the results of the recent United States election, it appears that at least one of the mega-regional agreements signed in 2016, has an uncertain future. This is disappointing, and represents a considerable loss in terms of time and costs for the countries that were involved in negotiating this agreement. Moving forward, these developments may, however, allow the region's economies to focus more on South-South integration and enable them to promote trade and investment linkages suited to their development aspirations.

I recommend the Asia-Pacific Trade and Investment Report 2016: Recent Trends and Developments to all Governments, development partners and other stakeholders. Together with 5 sub-regional and almost 30 country trade briefs, this Report offers comprehensive evidence that will help in the introduction of well-informed trade and investment trends and policies across the region. Given that the short-term prospects for international trade are not promising, the changing patterns and prospects outlined in this Report highlight that achieving the 2030 Agenda will require the continued and dedicated efforts of our region's economies to create a strong, vibrant and enabling environment for international trade and investment.

 Shamshad Akhtar | Under-Secretary-General of the United Nations | Executive Secretary, United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific

 

Table of Contents

Chapter 1. Merchandise Trade Still in Trouble?

Chapter 2. Trade in Commercial Services Sliding Downhill

Chapter 3. Foreign Direct Investment Makes a Modest Come-Back

Chapter 4. Trade Facilitation in Asia and the Pacific: An Update

Chapter 5. Regional Trends in Trade Policies: Building Taller Fences?

Chapter 6. Preferential Trade and Agreements: An Update

Chapter 7. International Trade in a Digital Age