Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Technology marketplace - a potentially better set up?

I just visited A*STAR's website on a whim and I found an interesting link:

Looks like they are heading to a correct direction. They are offering technologies for licensing openly in the market. I wish there are more things listed there though. But then again, Singapore's R&D scene is still in the growing stage. The list there may even be considered impressive for the beginners.

However, I feel that more should be done for those patented technologies. They should be actively offered to targeted businesses or industries. A team of people whose job scope comprises of listing and finding potential companies who may find those technologies useful will serve any R&D institute well. Not many companies embrace the idea of searching technologies to buy online so to wait for one to stumble upon the webpage seems complacent. Active searching of buyers should still be the main activity.

The webpage set up could be improved as well by allowing companies to search based on their need, e.g. searching based on the type of the company, the type of technology and trying to categorize the technologies in wider manner. A technology would normally fall under several categories so they should be listed under those categories at the same time.

Another issue that can be taken up is to reduce patent applications. Patenting findings seem to be a pastime of Singapore's researchers. Unfortunately, not many of those patents really worth patenting. I think this is a credible explanation to the lack of commercialization. In fact, patent application may serve as the end point of the research without afterthought put into what will happen after that. Money spent for patenting nearly useless research findings could be well spent into bettering the technology or even channeling them to better use. Before a patent is applied, potential for commercialization should actually be assessed first. I would think that having 100% commercialization success of 100 patents are better than having 10,000 patent with 10 commercialization success.

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