Students at Indian Institute of Technology, Bombay (IIT-B), are on an invention spree, with patents for inventions like solar-powered fluid heaters, speech decoding systems and a user-friendly map of Mumbai’s rail system jumping by more than 24% this year.
Other inventions include a process for treatment of organic solid waste using special equipment and transport routers-a single networking medium which will revolutionise data usage.
For the academic year of 2014-15, the institute has registered 72 applications for patenting as compared to 58 in 2010-11.
Devang Khakhar, director of IIT-B said that almost all patents have student contributors. Of the 72, ten patent applications have been filed with the Patent Cooperation Treaty (an international patent law treaty that provides a unified procedure for filing patents), eight of which, have been filed in the US and two in Canada. The Indian patents have also fared well, with six having received approvals and are now available for licensing, said an official from the R&D office at the institute.
Academicians have attributed the rise in number of patent filing to new steps taken by the institute to encourage students and professors by assessing project work and shortlisting them for possible patent filings each year.
Workshops on intellectual property (IP) rights, process of copyrighting, enhancing innovations have also increased a manifold in the last few years.
Last year, IIT-B set up an in-house patent search facility so that researchers can assess the novelty of their work. Also, to encourage more patenting, M.Tech students’ project works are reviewed in consultation with researchers and experts to test its potential for patenting.
“New initiatives like a research park and attorneys to help researchers with filing Intellectual property rights for both professors as well as undergraduate and post graduate students have made the process of patenting very conducive,” said Chetan Solanki, associate professor with the department of energy science.