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News : Irish Last Updated: Apr 27, 2009 - 7:35:50 AM


World Intellectual Property Day - - Sunday April 26, 2009 - - Science Foundation Ireland says 250 patents filed since 2003 by its supported research groups; Commercialisation pending
By Finfacts Team
Apr 26, 2009 - 6:01:46 AM

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World Intellectual Property Day takes place today Sunday April 26, 2009. The event is sponsored by the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), which is a specialised agency of the United Nations. This year’s event is focused on promoting Green Innovation as the key to a secure future. The Irish Government says Ireland’s reputation as an Intellectual Property "hotspot" plays an integral role in attracting Foreign Direct Investment to the country and is strategic to IDA, the Irish Government Enterprise Agency, in securing investment for Ireland. Science Foundation Ireland (SFI), which was established in 2003 to support research activities in Ireland, said today, that more than 250 patents have been filed by its supported research groups. However, "pending" would be the appropriate characterisation for commercialisation activity.

Ireland has a goal to become a "world class knowledge economy" by 2013. It will not be realised.

In March, SFI said in its 2009-2013 strategy document Powering the Smart Economy, that it will attempt to push patent filings up to 500, over the next five years. It also expects to see 1,000 invention disclosures, 40 money-earning technology licences and 30 start-ups based on local research discoveries.

Finfacts Report Apr 24, 2009: China moves up Global Innovation Index; Japan, Switzerland, Finland and US in lead; Ireland retains 19th ranking

“The genesis of any new idea or procedure in the fields of science, technology and engineering is an exciting discovery for those involved. However, it is the Intellectual property path - from creation to commercialisation - that is crucial in deciding success or failure of any such discovery,” according to Director-General of SFI, Professor Frank Gannon.

Highlighting World Intellectual Property (IP) Day, Prof. Gannon said that it was essential for both the current and next generation of scientists, engineers and innovators to focus on the importance of protecting any novel methods and processes generated through the course of research activities. With a number of stages in the IP process, beginning with a notification of invention disclosure, through to evaluation and to patenting, the journey from laboratory to marketplace is often lengthy and complex. Gannon added that that SFI’s programmes, in active partnership, particularly with Enterprise Ireland and other agencies, were underpinned by a support structure that assisted researchers in navigating efficiently through the necessary IP channels.

“While creativity is an obvious prerequisite for advancement in science and engineering, it must be accompanied by due regard for all Intellectual Property implications and requirements. With programmes such as Centres for Science, Engineering and Technology (CSETs) and Strategic Research Clusters (SRCs), SFI is focusing on forging strong links between academia and enterprise and encouraging a culture of opportunity and commercial prospect. Through a collaborative network involving researchers, Enterprise Ireland, technology transfer offices at Higher Education Institutions and the recently-created position of SFI Head of Industry-Research Development, the IP agenda remains to the fore. This focussed approach is reflected in the fact that more than 250 patents have been filed by SFI-supported research groups to date, with the quality and quantity expanding considerably in recent years.

“In its recently-launched strategy for 2009-2013, entitled ‘Powering the Smart Economy’, SFI has identified the development of the route of commercialisation as a priority. Its strategy outlines a target of 1,000 invention disclosures and 500 patent filings arising from SFI-funded research over the next five years, coupled with significant increases in industry collaborations and spin-out companies. I am confident that through welcome initiatives such as World IP Day, awareness and knowledge of Intellectual Property issues will further spread among key educational and research audiences,” concluded Gannon.

Commenting on the importance of World Intellectual Property Day, IDA Ireland CEO Barry O’Leary said, ‘‘The role Intellectual Property Management plays in the future of Foreign Direct Investment in Ireland cannot be underestimated. IDA Ireland works in close partnership with companies establishing and expanding Headquarters and IP Management operations in Ireland. We can provide initial support and guidance and ensure companies have the facilities, resources and contacts needed for a successful start as well as future growth. IP management is one of the key Headquarter activities for which Ireland offers the ideal combination of relevant skills and experience plus a supportive business, legal and tax environment’’

The Irish inward investment promotion agency said "Ireland’s reputation both as a world leader in Intellectual Property and an innovator in Green and Clean Technology has led to a number of exciting and unique IDA supported projects locating in Ireland. An example of this is IBM’s €30 million investment in a Green Data Centre and Global Supply Chain hub in Dublin."

The claim to be a "world leader in Intellectual Property," is a little premature!

US firms who are responsible for about 90% of Ireland's exports, are the owners of most of Ireland's commercial Intellectual Property.

WIPO Magazine: Green Innovation Special

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