Wednesday, April 01, 2009

Pentair, Inc. and Nano Terra, Inc. Announce Strategic Alliance in Water Treatment [International]

Pentair, Inc. (NYSE: PNR: 21.59, 0, 0%) and Nano Terra, Inc., announced today they are forming a strategic alliance in water treatment. Pentair is a global leader in water movement, treatment, and storage technologies; and Nano Terra is a leading surface engineering and nanotechnology co-development company.

Nano Terra will deploy its technology for functionalizing surfaces through chemistry and structuring to develop new solutions for the treatment of water with improved performance. Nano Terra's technology platform was pioneered by its co-founder, Professor George M. Whitesides of Harvard University. Nano Terra will carry out the research at its labs in Cambridge, Mass. under close collaboration with a Pentair team that will manage field testing of the joint solution.
"New water treatment technologies will be a key element to satisfying the growing global concerns of water scarcity and poor quality. We are committed to innovation and to bringing the most effective technologies to our customers and are delighted to be our industry's first collaborators with Nano Terra," said Dr. Philip M. Rolchigo, vice president of Water Technology, Pentair. "Accessing Nano Terra's unique technology portfolio in a collaborative manner will allow us continued innovation in the sector."
Myer Berlow, CEO of Nano Terra, added, "Pentair has a long history of leading the sector through innovation. We look forward to working with them on critical water management applications, and are proud that Pentair recognizes the value of our surface engineering and nanotechnology expertise."
About Pentair, Inc.
Pentair ( is a diversified operating company headquartered in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Its Water Group is a global leader in providing innovative products and systems used worldwide in the movement, treatment, storage and enjoyment of water. Pentair's Technical Products Group is a leader in the global enclosures and thermal management markets, designing and manufacturing thermal management products and standard, modified, and custom enclosures that house and protect sensitive electronics and electrical components. With 2008 revenues of $3.35 billion, Pentair employs approximately 15,000 people worldwide.
About Nano Terra Inc.
Nano Terra is a privately-held research and development company with expertise supported by an extensive patent portfolio based on work done by co-founder Dr. George Whitesides, the Woodford L. and Ann A. Flowers University Professor at Harvard University.
The company leverages its expertise and intellectual property through co-development agreements with Fortune 500 companies and the U.S. Government. Nano-Terra's scientific methods can be used to fabricate advanced materials and devices that enhance existing products or create entirely new products in a broad range of areas, including: flexible electronics such as displays and electronic packaging; fuel cells, batteries and solar power devices; sensors; industrial products and processes; and a wide range of consumer goods. For more information, visit

Monday, March 30, 2009

Revamp to streamline IPR battles [China]

Special tribunals will be set up to handle intellectual property rights (IPR) disputes and an appeal court in a bid to improve efficiency, the Supreme People's Court (SPC) announced yesterday. The move will see complex cases relating to civil, administrative and criminal matters dealt with by a "unified" tribunal, rather than spread across different ones, according to the newly issued Guideline on Implementing the Compendium of National Intellectual Property Strategy. "If an IPR case involved two or three disputes it had to be heard in different tribunals, which was repetitious, wasted procedural costs and compromised judicial efficiency," said Kong Xiangjun, deputy chief judge of IPR tribunals for the SPC.

Pilot schemes for special tribunals have been running since the mid-1990s, including one high court, nine intermediate courts and 14 district courts, he said, with the Pudong District People's Court in Shanghai the first in 1995. A typical case there involved Shanghai Razor Blade Co Ltd, part of the Gillette Company, which had several disputes over infringements on its trademark with local businesses and government departments. The court was able to employ one tribunal to hear all the grievances, saving time and money. "A unified tribunal improves efficiency and makes full use of the expertise of our IPR tribunal staff," said Chen Huizhen, chief of the Pudong court's IPR tribunals.

The guideline released by the SPC also states it will look to "set up an IPR appeal court" to deal with invalid patent and trademark affirmation disputes, while Jiang Zhipei, vice-president of the IPR association of the China Law Society, said the SPC may establish such a court in Beijing. "Some disputes, especially the affirmation of patents and trademarks, feature highly specialized and sometimes international elements that are often too challenging for local courts to handle," Jiang told China Daily. An appellate court will unify standards in judicial practice, particularly patent infringements and the granting of trademark rights, he said, adding: "It will also help save costs for small and medium-sized enterprises in maintaining IP rights and create a sound environment for innovation."

The global financial crisis has made infringements more complex, with some enterprises being forced to cut budgets for IP protection. Chinese courts concluded 27,876 IPR-related cases, up 32.6 percent year-on-year, according to a work report by Chief Justice Wang Shengjun this month.

Source: China Daily

Friday, March 27, 2009

IIM Ahmedabad launches effort to build clean energy businesses [India]

Renewable Energy Search is an endeavour by IIM Ahmedabad's Centre for Innovation, Incubation and Entrepreneurship (CIIE) and Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (Government of India) to identify, encourage and incubate entrepreneurial ideas aimed at solving the energy crisis in the country through creation of viable business models around existing clean energy related technologies.

The effort aims at commercializing scalable existing technologies developed by innovators (researchers, individual inventors, start-ups and large corporations) across the world through creation of a viable business around it; areas of interest include energy generation, efficiency and storage.
The program shall provide support, recognition, licensing, seed-funding and mentoring to the following groups and invites applications in all the three categories.
Start-ups: The program shall provide funding and mentoring support to technology-based early stage start-ups (even pre-revenue) with viable business model and complimentary team. CIIE shall make an investment of up to Rs 20 lacs per start-up over the next few months and either directly fund or help raise further round of investment in the companies.
Entrepreneurs-in-residence (EIRs): The program shall also identify entrepreneurs interested in setting up their venture in this growing sector, but not having yet narrowed down on their business idea. Such EIRs shall get to spend 3-4 months with the program as an EIR to identify a proven technology around which they would like to build their venture. Having done that, the EIR shall create a business plan and build a complimentary team around the idea. EIRs with most viable plans shall be provided funding and incubation support under the program.
Innovators: Innovators (researchers at institutes, corporations, individual inventors etc) interested in commercializing their research work through creation of an enterprise or licensing shall be considered for the "Top Innovator Awards" comprising a cash prize of Rs 5 Lacs apart from incubation and funding or upside from licensing of the technology.
Partners: The program shall be a collaborative effort between industry, academia, government and innovators to create sustainable solutions for India’s energy problem and several like-minded organizations across the globe have shown interests in partnering us for this unique initiative. We are currently in the process of evaluating and finalizing tie-ups with these organizations to jointly build these clean energy start-ups. Some of the partners shall include leading technical institutes in the country for technology evaluation, industry bodies like CII for helping raise future investments, venture capitalists for strategic support and government agencies for further grants whenever required.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Bangalore ranks first on e-filing of trademarks [India]

At a time when the protection of intellectual property is being considered of paramount importance for the Indian economy, e-filing of trademarks online is fast catching up in the country.

According to the office of the Registrar of Trademarks, Government of India, the Patent & Trademark office in Bangalore has topped the list of cities in terms of filing of trademarks online. However the Chennai branch of Patent & Trademark Office has filed the highest number of trademarks in India.

In recent years, the government has amended legislations with response to emerging challenges posed by new developments relating to Intellectual Property Rights. The government has amended The Patents Act 1970 in 2005, and has created new legislations in the area, including the Design Act 2000, the Trademarks Act 1999, and the Geographical Indications of Goods (Registrations and Protections) Act 1999.

National Knowledge Commission calls for new knowledge paradigm at CII meet [India]

There is a need for a generational change in the country’s educational system, if the country is to reap what is today being termed as its ‘demographic dividend’, which could otherwise become a ‘demographic nightmare’, according to the National Knowledge Commission (NKC).Addressing newsmen after an interactive session on ‘Roadmap for Reform: NKC Recommendations’, Commission Chairman Sam Pitroda called for structural reforms in the five core areas of access to knowledge, concepts, creation, applications and services.

According to Mr Pitroda, today education had become indispensable to the country’s ambitions in the knowledge economy and therefore there was a need to develop a new knowledge paradigm, simultaneously addressing concerns of disparity and inclusion.The session was jointly organised by the Confederation of Indian Industry and NKC as part of the Commission’s outreach programme. On the occasion, Mr Pitroda released NKC’s ‘Report to the Nation’, which is a compilation of the over 300 recommendations it has made to the government with the objective of tapping into the country’s enormous reservoir of knowledge, mobilising national talent and creating an empowered generation, with access to opportunities.Mr Pitroda gave a bird’s eyeview of the reforms recommended by the NKC, whose three-year term is coming to an end, and said that “the speed of implementation, however, remains a challenge.” Citing the example of the telecom revolution in the country, which he fathered, Mr Pitroda said “15-20 years is a short period in a country’s march to progress, but we have to begin the journey towards building a truly inclusive and qualitatively significant knowledge society.”
On his part, Mr Ashok Ganguly, NKC member and a doyen of Indian industry and scientific research, said that “knowledge was the central theme of the 21st century and it must become an integral part of our development strategy. We have to shift from seeing knowledge only as reverse engineering and make innovation a part of our knowledge systems.”Mr Ganguly said that the NKC had observed a structural shift taking place in the employment scenario of the country, with entrepreneurship finding acceptance among an increasing number of people. “If we are to successfully tap this spirit, it is essential that shift from an education system that relies on learning to one that depends on thinking.”
Pointing to the challenges in the school education system, Dr Sujatha Ramdorai of the Tata Institute of Fundamental Research (TIFR) said that “today the demand for education existed among all sections and it was for both the public and the private sector to develop a suitable learning model that ensures school education is available to all.”Dr Ramdorai, who is a member of the NKC, said that while developments in all other sectors have become an acceptable part of Indian life, our education system, especially the school education system, remains in the 19th Century. “As the ecology of education differs from region to region, we must put in place a system that encourages local autonomy.”
Stating that the higher education system was in a state of crisis, Prof Deepak Nayyar of Jawaharlal Nehru University said, notwithstanding some islands of excellence, what was needed was expansion and creation of quality institutions. “Today what we have is not enough and even what we have is not good enough.”Prof Nayyar noted that any expansion of the system of higher education would not be possible without enhanced levels of financing, both from public and private sources. “This is even as the government reworks the entire system of undergraduate colleges, which today is out-of-date and inappropriate.”
Prof P Balaram, Director, Indian Institute of Science, concluded the interactive session by pointing to the inadequacies in the country’s research systems and said that there was a need to reinvigorate the research systems. He said that today research activities were largely funded by the government, “with philanthropic support for such activities being almost non-existent”. The time, he said, was right for industry to step in and fill this vital gap.In his welcome address, Mr Chandrajit Banerjee, Director General, CII, highlighted how NKC’s recommendations were a blueprint for reforms of knowledge-related institutions and infrastructure in the country. Mr. Banerjee also mentioned various initiatives of CII like Knowledge Mission, Global Innovation & Technology Alliance, Innovation Mission, University –Industry Council, Intellectual Property Owners Committee etc. Similarly, Mr Salil Singhal, Immediate Past President, CII Northern Region, disclosed the various initiatives that the industry had begun taking to ensure that skills-based education got the prominence it deserved.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Open Innovation, Commons based Peering

    Open Innovation is a new business approach which industries, corporate houses and the like are applying in order to commercialize their internal innovations and to obtain a huge plethora of external innovations in order to commercialize them as well. In this approach, firms work and interact with external partners and create newer and better technologies and products and thereby benefitting from this interaction. Commons based Peer Production is the term coined by Harvard Law School Professor Yochai Benkler to portray a new model of economic production, in which the resourceful energy of a large number of people is coordinated with the aid of internet into projects without the usual hierarchical organization.

   The idea behind open innovation is that in the world there are millions of people who have widely distributed knowledge. Industries and companies do not have the man power or the resources to create everything on their own and nor can they rely on the research of their respective R&D departments. Therefore companies open there R&D laboratories and research centers to the people outside their organization in order to tap into this vast distributed knowledge for their own benefit.

    It is rightly said that we are living in a world where a particular idea becomes old within minutes because there is be someone in a different part of the world who would have improvised on that idea and moved on. Open Innovation has gained momentum because of the Internet which has changed fortunes for so many companies the world over.

    Internet sites like,, are providing a platform for many individuals to create, innovate and discuss ideas. In this era of globalization, companies need unique capabilities in order to leverage benefits faster and more effectively than its competitors. This can only be done if they adopt a policy where they welcome people from outside to generate new ideas which would not only benefit the people who are bringing these ideas in terms of remuneration, but also to the companies which would reap in huge benefits and save a lot of money by not spending it in-house.

   In order to adopt this new and fast growing approach, the organizations need to dispel some deeply rooted thoughts from within their organizations. “The conventional wisdom says that sharing IP and other sources creates a public good where everyone shares in the benefits, and there is no way to generate private returns.” (Wikinomics, 2007) On the contrary sharing of knowledge can help drive innovation and create wealth. Here is a list of key benefits of open innovation and peer production:

  • ·         Bind External talent: These days the speed and complexity of change in technology is so immense that no company can create all innovations which are needed to compete with competitors under a single roof. We are witnessing a vast sea change in technology and science which are advancing fast and companies are using and deploying new knowledge in unanticipated ways. Many intelligent firms understand this innovation by using peer production and open innovation to involve more people in developing newer ideas.
  •           Boosting demand for complimentary offerings: Firms that encourage open innovation and peer production can boost demand for complimentary offerings and provide new opportunities to create added value and IP. Just as Wikipedia is gaining popularity, which has convinced its Founder Jimmy Wales that there may be a market for a Wikipedia branded line of books.
  •            Reducing Costs: With open innovation and peer production companies can save a lot of money. In this chapter we would see how IBM and other big companies have saved millions of dollars by adopting this model.
  •           Shifting the locus of competition: “Publishing intellectual property in non core areas that are core to a competitor can undermine your rival’s ability to monopolize a resource that you depend on.  In the software industry, publishing code has enabled IBM and Red Hat to migrate the locus of competition from operating systems to applications, integration and services.” 

Thursday, May 03, 2007


Ideation is the process of forming and relating ideas. It is important in creativity, innovation and concept development.
This concept is about opening ourselves up to creative communication skills, sharing our brainstorms, and allowing this to produce new collaborations and developments. The sharing of ideas has been a positive concept in the history of our growth and development as a society.see Huineng 3rd patriarch of Chan (Zen) Buddhism on ideation.

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

On Creativity

Creativity (or creativeness) is a mental process involving the generation of new ideas or concepts, or new associations between existing ideas or concepts. From a scientific point of view, the products of creative thought (sometimes referred to as divergent thought) are usually considered to have both originality and appropriateness. An alternative, more everyday conception of creativity is that it is simply the act of making something new. Although intuitively a simple phenomenon, it is in fact quite complex. It has been studied from the perspectives of behavioural psychology, social psychology, psychometrics, cognitive science, artificial intelligence, philosophy, history, economics, design research, business, and management, among others. The studies have covered everyday creativity, exceptional creativity and even artificial creativity. Unlike many phenomena in science, there is no single, authoritative perspective or definition of creativity. Unlike many phenomena in psychology, there is no standardized measurement technique.

Creativity has been attributed variously to divine intervention, cognitive processes, the social environment, personality traits, and chance ("accident," "serendipity"). It has been associated with genius, mental illness and humour. Some say it is a trait we are born with; others say it can be taught with the application of simple techniques. Although popularly associated with art and literature, it is also an essential part of innovation and invention and is important in professions such as business, economics, architecture, industrial design, science and engineering.

Despite, or perhaps because of, the ambiguity and multi-dimensional nature of creativity, entire industries have been spawned from the pursuit of creative ideas and the development of creativity techniques. This mysterious phenomenon, though undeniably important and constantly visible, seems to lie tantalizingly beyond the grasp of scientific investigation.