Interplay and Implications of Intellectual Property and Academic-Industry Collaboration to Foster Digital Inclusion

CTN Issue: July 2014

Innovation and commercialization of new products and services in high-tech industries requires the interaction and cooperation of many players. This article describes the frequent case of an academia-industry interaction to do accomplish that. The issues and challenges at hand are phrased by the author of the article in this next paragraph:

“The late W. Edwards Deming, known for his advances in quality management, once said that “competition should not be for a share of the market — but to expand the market.” Deming was quoted, of course, long before our world became flat or anyone ever heard the term open systems. Nonetheless, Deming was prescient. He understood that progress is not a proprietary concept. Every advance is an advance for everyone. The idea of knowledge sharing is widely embraced today, but we can also be constrained, at times, by directives and traditions — many of which date back decades or more. Thus, universities, commercial enterprises, and government face a unique dilemma. In some ways, we each exist to foster knowledge, but by fearing the loss of competitive advantage we sometimes persist in squelching it. For example, many have described instances where administrative negotiations over Intellectual Property ownership have lasted 18 months or more, delaying research, collaboration, and possible innovation”.

The article goes on discussing how to reduce the barriers that academia and industry face when working together on research project; it includes a best practices study with conclusions that should not be viewed as isolated experiments, but as practices that can create the synergy required to drive collaborative research, and innovation. The article is a must-read for those engaged in startups and /or innovation with universities to understand how both working as partners in relationship-based negotiations and not transactional ones, can fuel the success of one another, in a natural and synergistic way.

Title and author(s) of the original paper in IEEE Xplore:

Title: Interplay and Implications of Intellectual Property and Academic-Industry Collaboration to Foster Digital Inclusion
Author(s): L. Masi and D. Tew
This paper appears in: IEEE Communications Magazine
Issue Date: February 2010

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