For medical professionals, scientists, and technicians in medical, dental, and paramedical institutes, the Union health ministry has launched the ICMR/ DHR Policy on Biomedical Innovation and Entrepreneurship. By promoting the Government of India’s Make-in-India, Start-Up-India, and Atmanirbhar Bharat initiatives, it would assure multidisciplinary collaboration, promote start-up culture, and establish an innovation-led ecosystem at medical institutes across the country.”
“This Policy will ensure multi-disciplinary collaboration, promote start-up culture, and develop an innovation led ecosystem at Medical Institutes across the country by promoting Make-in-India, Start-Up-India, and Atmanirbhar Bharat initiatives,” said Dr. Mansukh Mandaviya, Union Minister of Health and Family Welfare, speaking at the policy launch. This policy is in line with Prime Minister Harper’s motto of “Innovate, Patent, Produce, and Prosper.”
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In comparison to engineering universities, most medical colleges lack an IP and entrepreneurial policy. Only 15% of medical schools have an IP policy in place, compared to 85% of engineering schools. From 2010 to 2020, medical institutes produced only 5% of patent filings. Engineering institutes filed the majority of the data.
According to the policy, innovators can work as a non-executive director, scientific advisor, or consultant in a corporation. They can work alone or through companies on inter-institutional and industrial projects/consultancy projects. They can licence technologies to businesses, which will result in commercialization, money generation, and societal gain. They could be a licensor. Sabbaticals for translational company work are allowed under the policy. Sponsored research/consultancy arrangements can be outsourced by innovators.
It also proposed a process for policy review. The ICMR-DHR will establish a standing subcommittee to examine the policy on a regular basis in order to resolve the problems that have arisen during implementation. It will be a consultative, evidence-based revision strategy.
Medical institutes will be able to implement IP management policies after the policy is implemented. It will make it possible for medical experts to start their own businesses. In addition, through the PPP model, it will stimulate inter-institutional and industrial collaborations. Medical schools have been requested to establish an office of licencing of innovation ventures and enterprises (OLIVEs) to encourage medical practitioners to learn about, participate in, and start their own businesses. OLIVEs will assist inventors with IP management, startup firm formation/incubation, business development, and techno-legal assistance. OLIVEs will also supply chartered accountants, company secretaries, and patent attorneys to innovator-led enterprises in exchange for 2-10% equity in incubated companies.
“The ICMR/DHR policy on Biomedical Innovation and Entrepreneurship for Medical Professionals is a game-changer,” said Prof. Balram Bharagava, Secretary, DHR and Director General, ICMR.
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