News

Want in on nanotechnology? Capitalize on collaborative environments

Patent law experts demonstrate that private-public partnerships lead to promising innovation output measured in patents. Collaborations between private entities and public institutions have the potential to improve technology transfer in nanotechnology. Nations entering the nano-space can capitalize on collaborative environments, developing frameworks and close institutional networks between entities active in nanotechnology.

advertisement

"The 21th century has been hailed the nano-century, and major technological breakthroughs are expected from the control of the matter at the nanoscale. However, despite its promises, nanotechnology still seems to be stuck in the status of an emerging science," contend Assistant Professor Raphael Zingg of Waseda University and Dr. Marius Fischer of the Max Planck Institute for Innovation and Competition. With their work published in Nano Today on February 22, 2019, they aim at shedding light on the issue of technology transfer; how can the knowledge developed by universities be transferred to private entities that will develop commercial products.

To study the issue, Prof. Zingg and Dr. Fischer examined aggregated data on nanotechnology patents by identifying all European patent applications relating to nanostructures from 1991-2016. Their findings showed that patents filed jointly by private and public organizations are on the rise, albeit on a small level.

"While research institutions still develop the majority of their patents independently, our data fleshes out promising signs that private-public knowledge transfer is coming to fruition. Encouraging an environment where research institutions and private firms engage in collaboration is conducive to innovation in nanotechnology," writes Prof. Zingg.

The two researchers found that though the number of nanotechnology patents filed jointly by private firms and research institutions may still be low in absolute terms, a sharp increase has occurred since the year 2000, and that in the most recent years, 8% of all patents have been filed jointly by private-public partners. Additionally, they pointed out that private-public patent applications were filed with more patent offices than independently-developed public ones, and Prof. Zingg suggests that such willingness to obtain a wider geographical protection and to invest in patenting strategies imply high internal valuation.

They also find that in some countries such as the United States, France and Japan, where private-public patents are more frequent, the total number of nanotechnology patents tended to be higher. It seems that these countries have developed reliable frameworks and close institutional networks between entities active in nanotechnology.

According to their data, Waseda University holds two nanotechnology patents granted in Europe. One of them, a patent on a hydrotalcite-like substance, has been the result of a partnership of the School of Science and Engineering with a private firm, JDC Corporation. The two partners have been engaging in research on wastewater treatment systems with nano layered double hydroxides. Said invention was patented in 2004 and filed in the main jurisdictions worldwide.

"Collaborative trends in nanotechnology are reflected in the rise of private-public partnerships. The pooling of assets, know-how, and technologies provides innovators with better ways to address the challenges of innovation technology," Prof. Zingg says. "For countries entering the nano-space, we believe that the creation of industry clusters integrating academic entities has high potential."

advertisement

Materials provided by Waseda University . Note: Content may be edited for style and length.

Waseda University. "Want in on nanotechnology? Capitalize on collaborative environments: New study shows that partnerships could assist successful technology transfer and possibly, breakthroughs in innovation." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 20 March 2019. .

Waseda University. "Want in on nanotechnology? Capitalize on collaborative environments: New study shows that partnerships could assist successful technology transfer and possibly, breakthroughs in innovation." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2019/03/190320101952.htm (accessed March 20, 2019).
Read more on sciencedaily.com
News Topics :
RELATED STORIES :
Business
One of the worlds smallest technologies is driving big innovations in Japan and South Korea and creating opportunities for domestic and foreign companies and investors. Nanotechnology, a subfield in...
Technology
Latest research on hundreds of new green technology companies in the US shows the patenting activity of a startup climbs by over 73 on average every time they collaborate with...
Technology
In the early 1980s, a cluster of fledging computer companies opened up shop in a chaotic corner of northwest Beijing, near the campuses of Peking and Tsinghua Universities. Electronics Street,...
Business
James Hinton is a lawyer, patent and trademark agent with Bereskin & Parr LLP and an assistant professor at Western University. Peter Cowan is a senior IP strategist who led...
Science
The vast majority of patents on marine genetic sequences are linked to corporations. One transnational corporation has registered 47 percent of these sequences. The vast majority of patents on marine...