A FECYT report concludes that the entire innovation incentive scheme needs to be redesigned

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A FECYT report concludes that the entire innovation incentive scheme needs to be redesigned

GENESIS Biomed has participated in the preparation of the THINK TANK report “Patenting and/or publishing” by the FECYT, which covers the debate on publishing research or its transfer and exploitation through industrial and intellectual protection.

 

The Spanish Foundation for Science and Technology (FECYT) has published the report THINK TANK “PATENTING AND/OR PUBLISHING”: CONCLUSIONS AND RECOMMENDATIONS directed by Paloma Domingo García and with the participation of GENESIS Biomed CEO, Josep Lluís Falcó.

The publication, included in the Publishing Programme 2021 of the Ministry of Science and Innovation, presents the conclusions of the meeting organised by the FECYT on 5th  December 2019, in which 15 KOLs from the sector participated, including experts in patents and knowledge transfer from the public and private sector, researchers, entrepreneurs and decision-makers at the Ministry of Science and Innovation. In the opinion of Josep Lluís Falcó (CEO GENESIS Biomed): “It has been a real honor and a pleasure to collaborate as part of the advisory board of FECYT Think Tank, sharing a table with KOLs from the public and private sector. We have been able to contribute to defining priorities and promoting messages addressed to the researchers with an entrepreneurial spirit, defining the dilemma of patenting and / or publishing when we are facing a spin-off creation process”.

The report reflects the broad debate generated at the meeting on the dichotomy observed among Spanish researchers when it comes to publishing their research or opting for the transfer and exploitation of the same through industrial and intellectual protection mechanisms.

It should be noted that in Spain, according to the report, the scientific production between 2015 and 2019 reached 3,509 publications. More than three quarters of these documents have been published in the most important journals in the world. The main Spanish institutions that authored the publications are the CSIC, the Autonomous University of Barcelona and the University of Barcelona. By subject area, Immunology, Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology, Mathematics and Computation, and Chemistry and Chemical Engineering predominate.

The report includes a set of recommendations addressed to the different agents of the transfer process, obtained from a survey addressed to 60 experts in the field of research and innovation, which was carried out in July 2020, with the aim of collecting their suggestions on how to address a basic question when managing research results: Patenting and/or Publishing?

Finally, the study “Spanish scientific production present in international patents. 2015-2019” was presented during the Think Tank “Patenting and/or Publishing”, which has been carried out by the Department of Studies and Indicators of FECYT.

 

Conclusions

Among the conclusions of the Think Tank is the important reference to redesign the entire scheme of incentives for both researchers and institutions themselves. The experts agree that clear legislation is needed to give legal certainty to institutions and researchers, to make incompatibilities and public-private collaborations more flexible, and to enable and encourage innovation.

There must also be a change in the model of Spanish universities and research centres that contemplates a variable part of funding depending on their access to the market. The study also shows the existing social disaffection towards the business sector. And it raises the need to make business research more visible in order to achieve greater support and effort to add value to knowledge.

Researchers should be trained in issues associated with the protection of research results and in skills associated with the analysis of business models, and the functioning of the R&D&I system should be incorporated into this training. Intellectual property protection must be considered a fundamental tool for bringing a discovery to market, but with the awareness that this is a long process with associated economic costs.