CSIR-Tech, the commercialization arm of India’s Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR), has been shut down. According to the company’s CEO Amitabh Shrivastava, a lack of legal support, low funding and delays in executing commercial deals with CSIR labs were major causes of CSIR-Tech’s decline.
“There was no official office memorandum that empowered CSIR-Tech to have exclusive rights to commercialize CSIR’s patent portfolio,” says Shrivastava. “We did some deals with CSRI labs but it was all dependent on the enthusiasm of the individual directors of the labs. I … ultimately couldn’t scale up because there was no money or funding from CSIR.”
CSIR is India’s largest patent holder, yet it spends more on keeping its patents active than it earns from royalties. CSIR-Tech was launched in 2008 to hold all of CSIR’s patent portfolio and earn revenues either by holding equity in CSIR-based start-ups or striking technology licensing deals.
In 2016, India’s Union Science Minister Harsh Vardhan visited the national chemical laboratory where CSIR-Tech was based and commented that he “was pleased with the approach the CSIR-Tech had taken to not only do technology transfer to small and medium enterprises in India, but also to invest in science-based start-ups and laboratory spinoffs.”
The CSIR-Tech website is now defunct, but the company recently posted on its Facebook page. “Folks, CSIR-Tech is shutting down its operation after 6 years,” the note reads. “Sad for commercialization of Scientific R&D in India. Many lessons learned for similar future endeavors.”
Source: The Hindu