New Delhi: When it comes to patents in India, collaboration between industry and academia is still at a nascent stage as only 0.4% of the patents are a result of such partnership, according to a report by Thomson Reuters released on Tuesday.

The report said India is emerging as a major patent destination for applicants globally and the corporate segment has contributed substantially more in driving the total volume of patents.

In the analysis of patent data between 2010 and 2014, the report shows that volume of patents filed by academia and government has lingered at a little over 20%, while the corporate segment has filed more than 70% of the patents.

A major focus in innovation in India is observed in two areas, human necessities, and chemistry and metallurgy, although the contribution of the human necessities category has reduced in terms of published patents. The other three areas which are a focus of innovation in India are physics, performing operations, and transporting and electricity.

Based on the data of patents published in the corporate sector, the highest number of patents was filed in the category of medicinal preparation, which includes preparation of organic active ingredients and on preparation of ointments and bougies (a kind of surgical instrument). The other top four categories in the patents published by corporate are digital data processing, heterocyclic compounds, acyclic compounds and digital data transmission.

The trend is similar when it comes to patents published by government and academia as medicinal preparation, acyclical compounds and heterocyclic compounds were in the top five categories. But microorganism composition and food treatment which are also in the top five categories in the patents published by government and academia, are not in the top five categories for corporate sector. Also, while medicinal preparation was the top technology category in both sectors, traditional medicine was observed to be of higher focus in academia and government.

“There is a bit of a mismatch in areas of research in corporate segment and government and academia. Institutes should be more planned in forming their focus areas and setting up technology parks. Outreach by the institutes should start much before the patent application," said Arvind Pachhapur, South Asia head of intellectual property and science and legal business, Thomson Reuters.

The report highlighted the academic institutions active in collaboration included Indian Institute of Technology Bombay, Indian Institute of Science, Indian Institute of Technology Delhi, Indian Institute of Technology Madras, Panjab University and Indian Statistical Institute.

The report further showed that the number of scientific papers funded by corporations has increased over the years though the growth rate has slowed to a degree since 2010.

The report concludes that on the academia front, a gradual shift in the focus of academia and government from simply stopping at publishing research to also protecting intellectual property and subsequently commercializing it, will offer a good environment for collaboration with industry.

“The key components of an excellent research and innovation ecosystem are talent, the high quality of faculty, adequate funding, strong infrastructure, an appetitive for risk taking and collaboration in research," said R. Chidambaram, principal scientific adviser to the government.

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