IITB Central Library 2.0 Service

IIT-B initiative helps identify commercial worth in students’ theses

Posted on: April 25, 2011

By Indian
Project reports by students, which would have otherwise remained in the public domain as theses, have now been identified to have critical commercial value at the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), Bombay, thanks to a new initiative of the institute.

While thesis reports submitted by master’s students would earlier be put in the institute library and the abstract made available online, this practice was reviewed last year. IIT Bombay, which has in recent years stepped up activities to push for patenting, felt innovative ideas could be tapped from students’ thesis work. Further, once a thesis work is released in the public realm, they are precluded from patenting in India.

Accordingly, IIT Bombay decided to review over 650 theses submitted by MTech and dual degree students in July last year to identify if they have any intellectual property or commercial worth for the industry. Now, at least 17 are in the process of being submitted as patent applications. “We have been taking steps to increase patenting at the institute and this was one of the initiatives to enhance ideas that have commercial value, which should be protected,” said Prof Rangan Banerjee, dean, research and development, IIT Bombay. While IIT Bombay would previously file 15-20 patent applications a year, the number has gone up to 50 now. IIT Bombay has, so far, been granted 110 patents and as of now, over 200 patent applications have been filed.

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