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Moves to protect traditional knowledge


In an encouraging move for innovators in the rural areas of North East India XLRI has entered into a MoU with the National Innovation Foundation (NIF) to assess innovations and nominate the same for the national innovation award and granting resources for its protection through IP. This comes on the heels of numerous efforts by Sristi to create a database of innovations on a grass-root level. The move promises to be rewarding for all stakeholders and another step by the Government in the promotion of the protection of traditional knowledge.

Also on the anvil is an ambitious 2 million dollar project, the Traditional Knowledge Digital Library, which seeks to document India’s traditional medical knowledge. The electronic encyclopedia is estimated to be 30 million pages and available in 5 languages – English, French, Spanish, German and Japanese – and is one of a kind. Perhaps this shall work to deter the expensive costs of litigation that the Government of India has found itself embroiled in. It is estimated that the Government has spent over $ 6 million in litigation fighting the Neem and Turmeric cases alone.

XLRI, NIF sign MoU to create research councilState Bureau
Posted online: Tuesday, January 29, 2008 at 0045 hrs

Jamshedpur Jan 28B-School XLRI has entered into a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the National Innovation Foundation (NIF) for creation of a research advisory council (RAC). The council will assess different innovations sourced by the NIF from Jharkhand, Bihar, part of West Bengal, Orissa, Chhattisgarh and eastern Uttar Pradesh.The innovations will be sourced from the NIF’s national register for grassroots innovations. The selected ones will be supported through nomination to the biennial national innovation award, refining the product, protection of intellectual property rights associated with it and offering risk capital investment by NIF’s micro venture fund for setting up enterprises. According to the MoU signed here on Sunday by NIF national coordinator (business development & micro venture) L Chinzah and XLRI director Father E Abraham, the RAC will comprise professors from the B-School, industry experts and NIF members.
The XLRI’s student body, Social Initiative Group for Managerial Assistance, will also be involved in mentoring and monitoring those projects. The Sigma will also assist in market benchmarking innovations and developing business plans.The NIF plans to provide institutional support in scouting, spawning, sustaining and scaling up grassroots innovations and help them grow into self-supporting ventures. Its ‘Honey Bee’ database of around 10,000 innovations collected and documented by Sristi is part of the national register of innovation managed and supported by the NIF.According to Chinzah, the NIF was looking forward for support from the Sigma and Face for “adding value to” the innovations it came across in the eastern region during scouting works. “As the NIF cann’t do much on its own following the networking philosophy, we are trying to build capacities here so that existing institutions like XLRI can be brought to the platform to add value to such innovations,” said Chinzah.Speaking on the occasion, the XLRI director said the Sigma and faculty supported initiative would be of much use to the B-School as “our students need to go out to villages and see what the real world looks like”.

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