Presentation on theme: "The need to develop improved models of interface between HEIs & their indigenous SME communities Andrew Beale Director, IP Wales 7 th WIPO FORUM ON IP."— Presentation transcript:
The need to develop improved models of interface between HEIs & their indigenous SME communities Andrew Beale Director, IP Wales 7 th WIPO FORUM ON IP & SMEs (14 th & 15 th September 2009, Geneva)
10-11 September 2008 At the Gala Dinner Wales’ First Minister set out his Government’s vision for the new knowledge-rich economy of post devolution Wales, an economy with IP at its core underpinned by a research base driven by Welsh universities. But what insights might the Welsh experience have to offer to the international IP observer?
UK performance masks a wide variation in innovative performance within its regional economies and universities Whilst the UK may perform well in comparison with other European economies, the performance of its regions ranges from 12th (South-East) to 113th (Northern Ireland), with Wales ranked 89th out of 203 European regions (9 places below Scotland).
concludes that compared to counterparts in Australia, Canada & USA the performance of UK universities is “good and improving”, with Unico commercialisation surveys demonstrating a clear correlation between large research incomes derived from research funding/grants and the strongest commercialisation performance.
A recent comparative analysis (Beale, Blackaby & Mainwaring, Higher Educational Quarterly, 2008) of patenting activity by universities serving the three recently devolved jurisdictions of Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland shows that whilst patent filings, per researcher, in Wales maybe on a par with that of Scotland (and double the rate of Northern Ireland) the academic research base is only around half that of Scotland in per capita terms and is currently dominated by the performance of a single university.
ENGLAND (RG)WALESSCOTLANDIRELAND Cardiff University stands as Wales’ sole representative within the self- selecting ‘Russell Group’ of leading UK research universities, so the dramatic drop in its Times Higher UK research ranking from 8th in 2001 to equal 22nd in 2008 is at best discouraging - even this performance was only made achievable by failing to submit for scrutiny a third of eligible research staff, resulting in the lowest percentage submission for the top 30 UK universities.
Moreover RAE 2008 reveals a massive Welsh deficit when compared with Scotland in terms of world-class STEM research – science, technology, engineering and mathematics. Wales has under 120 researchers operating in this field at the highest level, with something approaching 80% of these being based at Cardiff University (over 50%) and Swansea University (which leads in engineering).
Wales’new sector approach to Economic Development has yet to be integrated with a Science Policy & underpinned by patent strength In its consultation on a ‘Science Policy for Wales’ the Welsh Assembly Government proposed that a science policy focussed on innovation should concentrate on the areas of health, low carbon energy and enabling sustained social and economic renewal. The responses largely agreed with the areas’ foci but many advocated a need for greater coverage.
In their new approach to Economic Development the Ministerial Advisory Group identified 14 key sectors for Wales; 3 of which are deemed core enabling sectors (energy, environmental management, telecommunications & ICT); This sector approach is significant because the use of IP varies substantially between sectors e.g. ICT requires a rapid transfer of know-how (technical knowledge not found in a patent) into its products, creative industries look for the transfer of skilled people into multi-disciplinary teams, whilst life sciences and the pharmaceutical sector demand strong IP protection.
IP Wales ® HEI Benchmarking Project However, these selected sectors are not reflective of Welsh universities’ traditional areas of patent strength. In relative terms, Wales’ weakness was most pronounced in electronics and communications. Forward citation analysis (citing of an earlier patent in a later patent) can be a useful indicator of commercial interest in the technology and in this regard the performance of Welsh university patents has been notably poorer in recent years. 3 rd ANNUAL FORUM of IP OFFICES
chem or phys analytics excavation, hydraulics heterocyclics genetic engineering cable installation radio wave measurement electronic, magnetic measurement generators, motors acoustics, musical inst computer systems all-carbon organics medical, surgical devices surgical articles, disinfection catalysis, colloids magnetic, electric separation separation med-surg instruments and tests bioactives, pesticides, growth reg animal husbandry metal casting patient transport, tables dental cement, composites cranes, hoists printing, copying doors, gates, windows corrosion inhibitors polysaccharides peptides sugars, nucleic acids complex organics, silicon, boron semiconductors computer computation data processing pharma microbe testing
There is little evidence to suggest that the Welsh HEI/SME interface is working The seminal Lambert Review (2003) concluded that; Universities will have to get better at identifying their areas of competitive strength, Government will have to do more to support business collaboration with the university sector, Business will have to learn how to exploit the innovative ideas that are being developed within the university sector.
UK Funders Forum identified three barriers to the effectiveness of universities assisting industry; an over- emphasis on IP ownership, lack of clarity on the aims of any collaborative research and variable practices in negotiation.
Wales has taken little cognizance, when compared with Scotland, of the National Audit Office recommendation in 2002 that institutions, “may benefit from combining to create a significant body of intellectual property…in the same, or similar, market or geographical sectors”.
Demonstrated a strategic deficit in the effectiveness of publicly funded programmes to create and realise value from research conducted in Welsh universities. A specific concern which arose is, “brilliant academics must not be turned into mediocre managers”.
Found that whilst nearly half the HEIs surveyed had set targets for commercialisati on, most focussed on quantitative targets only (e.g. number of licences granted, number of patents, number of spin- offs created) and very few set more businesslike targets relating to the net financial gain to the university.
Jones review of Higher Education in Wales (published 23 rd June 2009) calls for improved links between business and universities…talks explicitly about the need for universities to change by integrating the needs of SMEs into the core business of universities.
The need to develop improved models of interface between HEIs & their indigenous SME communities Andrew Beale Director, IP Wales 7 th WIPO FORUM ON IP & SMEs (14 th & 15 th September 2009)