When Jayesh Varavadekar (26) and his classmate Prathamesh Wadekar (24) filed their first patent for a biofuel product last year, they spent a month trawling through scientific databases to ensure the product was indeed a first.
This year, as the duo gets ready to file another patent, things have changed, thanks to the Intellectual Property Management & Technology Commercialisation (IPM&TC) Unit set up in September at the Centre for Energy Biosciences, Institute of Chemical Technology, Matunga.
The three-member team at the Unit can scan all international patents and technical reports for students, to check if similar work has been published.
“The team helps rule out duplication and can even help draft a student’s patent claims,” said PhD student Varavadekar.
In the two months since it opened, 60 students have approached the Unit and filed patents. “We also help set up meetings with industry members and innovators to help students commercially exploit their inventions,” said centre coordinator Professor Arvind Lali.
Set up at a cost of Rs 46.60 lakh, the unit is equipped with state-of-the-art hardware and software and a team of trained scientists with legal expertise.
Currently catering only to students of Institute of Chemical Technology, the cell will be opened up to students from across the city and to small and medium enterprises next year.