Monday, November 09, 2009

Patent balance sheet at CSIR

Hidden in the Mint story about Shiva Ayyadurai's travails at CSIR, there is this revealing statistic:

Over the past 10 years, CSIR laboratories have been granted 5,014 patents in India and abroad. The money earned from these was Rs. 36.8 crore, but the cost of filing them was Rs. 228.64 crore, according to official figures obtained by Hindustan Times (HT) through the Right to Information Act.

* * *

BTW, the previous post on Ayyadurai has comments expressing strong views -- both favourable and unfavourable -- about CSIR. Just in case you are interested...

There's nothing new to report on Ayyadurai, but commenters have also pointed to a couple of links that tell us a little bit more about him and his short career as a 'consultant' at CSIR:

  1. MIT News (from September 2007): East Meets West: Armed with 4 MIT degrees, Shiva Ayyadurai embarks on new adventure:

    In the 26 years since he first arrived at MIT as a freshman, V.A. Shiva Ayyadurai has earned four MIT degrees and started two multimillion dollar companies.

    This fall, he will use his most recent degree, a Ph.D. in computational systems biology, and a Fulbright Scholarship to explore one of his lifelong interests: the intersection of Eastern and Western medicine.

    Ayyadurai's upcoming project is the latest in a series of personal ventures that have spanned fields as diverse as electronic communications, animation and molecular biology. His experience shows what is possible with an MIT education, he says.

  2. Scientist vs establishment battle simmers in CSIR:

    According to Ayyadurai, it all started when CSIR Director General Samir Brahmachari gave him a handwritten offer and detailed job description of the STIO's post.

    In June this year, Ayyadurai was in India on a Fulbright scholarship. "At that time, a scientist whom I know said the director general of CSIR would like to meet me. I met him the next day and he invited me to join the organisation and make it into a centre of excellence," Ayyadurai said.

    In a handwritten note, Brahmachari promised Ayyadurai that he would be the CEO of various companies he spins off and that he would also be eligible to be stake in such companies.

    "I accepted it because in the United States if two CEOs shake hands, the deal is done. In this case, I got a written offer few days later and it was fine," Ayyadurai said, adding, "It was much later on that I realised that according to Indian law, he can't even promise those things."

    Meanwhile, immediately after taking over, Ayyadurai set his sights on creating a structure for CSIR-Tech -- a company that would work with CSIR scientists to spin off their inventions into moneymaking products.


  1. Anonymous said...

    The appointment of Shiva exemplifies the serious flaws in Indian Science establishment. How could a person in right mind hire a fresh PhD with no publication, a high school science exhibition medal, and a dead startup company on his CV to overhaul CSIR. The handshake appointment also smells fishy. The story sounds like a 8 year old boy hired a 6 year old to fix a man's job and the two kids got into a mudfight.

    It is no wonder that CSIR patents made no net profit. Even many western universities and institutes dont make any net profit fromt heir tech transfer office for years. The concept of universities and research institutes making profitable spinoff is relatively new in India and will take time. Typical successful patents in the western world take 10-20 years before they bring significant money back to the Universities/institutes.