- Dr Enrico Bonadio (Principal Investigator)
Despite the high standard of science and engineering research at South American universities, a lack of efficient intellectual property (IP) polices has hindered the use of technological innovation.
Research from Dr Luke McDonagh and Dr Enrico Bonadio of The City Law School has helped Latin American universities develop a tailored ‘IP incubation culture,’ which forges close links within their local economies and helps technology support business.
The researchers also partnered with the EU Horizon2020 funded project on Interactive Robotics (INBOTS), a consortium which brings together 25 partners to produce IP policies which influence government discussions on innovation.
What did we explore and how?
Identifying the restrictions which restricted universities in both Mexico and Cuba, the researchers compared South American IP polices to the UK and European Union (EU).
Their work found that the UK model has not translated its success to developing countries and that both Cuba and Mexico were hindered by unclear IP policies and a lack of funding for spinout or start-up companies.
The study concluded that rather than exporting current models of IP generation and commercialisation, it would be better for these intuitions to build an incubation culture from the ground up – matching policies to their local economies.
From this analysis, focus in these countries has shifted to build up and facilitate an entrepreneurial culture in the university sector. The incubator model has brought together scientists, engineers, technology transfer officers, managers and lawyers to shape new IP policy.
Benefits and influence of this research
Both Dr McDonagh and Dr Bonadio’s work has transformed the theories and practises of IP commercialisation in both Mexico and Cuba. Universities in both countries now have a clear framework to create policy which will strengthen technology and business.
From the research, City has established links with several Mexican universities, particularly with Universidad Nacional Autonoma de Mexico (UNAM) and Tecnologico de Monterrey and both researchers have been invited to present their findings at the former.
The University of Havana in Cuba has begun making modifications of its IP policy to create benefits for inventors and technology transfer. One UNAM professor implemented the findings and successfully created a spin out company, securing investor interest.
There have also been ongoing discussions to turn the recommendations into state or national policy with government organisations such as the Innovation Ministry of the State of Jalisco, the Mexican Intellectual Property Office (IMPI) and the Mexican Federal Government.