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Campus nurtures innovation in developing countries

By Clifton B. Parker on June 17, 2011 in University

UC Davis recently hosted a globally-oriented Licensing Academy that addressed innovation and intellectual property management issues in developing countries.

Twenty-nine students from countries in Latin America, Africa, Asia and Eastern Europe participated in the program, which took place from June 5-17 at the Plant and Environmental Sciences Building on campus.

The Public Intellectual Property Resource for Agriculture presented the Licensing Academy, whose target audience was international lawyers, technology managers and scientific professionals in both the public and private sectors who want to understand successful models of intellectual property management.

Specific topics included U.S. and international intellectual property protection, management for commercialization, licensing, and start-ups and spin-offs from public sector institutions.

Lecturers included instructors from the UC Davis School of Law, other law schools, UC Davis InnovationAccess, and legal practitioners and business experts representing major U.S. firms. The UC Davis School of Law collaborated on the academy, which was accredited by the UC Davis Extension.

'Mini-United Nations'

In this fast-changing world of ideas and technology, the participating students acknowledged the benefits of learning about all aspects of intellectual property. More than ever, companies must take the proper steps to ensure their products are protected in marketplaces, far and wide.

Uraiwan Sintharapantorn of Thailand-based SCG Chemicals, said, “It is important for companies to have access to universities, even to collaborate with them."

He is in charge of legal and corporate affairs for his company, an industrial conglomerate that rolls out many new products. "So licensing and intellectual issues are a part of my everyday business life. The (Licensing Academy) has given me a comprehensive perspective on how to help move my company forward," Sintharapantorn said.

Under intellectual property law, owners are granted certain exclusive rights to a variety of intangible assets, such as discoveries and inventions. Common types of intellectual property include copyrights, trademarks, patents, industrial design rights and trade secrets in some jurisdictions.

The students form the nucleus of a growing international network of technology managers, sharing experiences and developing strategies for technology management and innovation for their countries, stated the UC Davis Extension.

"The approach took into consideration the needs of developing countries and why patents are particularly significant for startups. I also learned the importance of thinking things through and continuing to ask questions,” said Santiago Miguel Villa, director of the Technology Transfer Office for National Council of Scientific and Technical Research in Argentina.

Alan Bennett, associate vice chancellor for research, is the founding executive director of The Public Intellectual Property Resource for Agriculture. In an e-mail he described the class "as extremely diverse and representing a mini-United Nations here in Davis for the week."

Students were from countries like Vietnam, Thailand, Ukraine, Georgia, Kenya, South Africa, Costa Rica, Argentina, Chile, Mexico, the Dominican Republic, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, according to Bennett, also a professor of plant sciences.

Licensing Academy coordinators included Bennett; Beth Greenwood, executive director, International Programs, UC Davis School of Law, and dean, Center for International Education, UC Davis Extension; Cecilia Chi-Ham, director, Science & Technology, PIPRA; and Selina Hill, academic coordinator, International Programs, UC Davis School of Law.

On the Web

Public Intellectual Property Resource for Agriculture

UC Davis School of Law

UC Davis InnovationAccess

UC Davis Office of Research

UC Davis Extension


Media contact(s)

Clifton B. Parker, Dateline, (530) 752-1932,