Dra. Catherina Caballero
Panama is recognized for having one of the fastest growing economies in Latin America, but this growth rests mainly on service activities and very little on productive activities. Countries that are betting on a strongly knowledge-based economy become competitive in the global market and are capable of creating high-tech jobs. Panamanian universities and research institutes need to be encouraged to participate in technology transfer activities through national and international association and collaboration with businesses and investors.
Although high-level scientific research is carried out in research institutes and universities in Panama, very few of these organizations have a modern and systematic tactic to handle intellectual property, market research, and the commercialization of the results of their activities. scientific.
In order to explore opportunities for academic and business collaboration at an international level, countries require not only resources, but also contacts and market intelligence.
The mission of ICITT is to facilitate the interaction between research (academic and research centers) and production (industry) in order to allow the knowledge generated and high-tech discoveries to reach society quickly and effectively. This interaction will facilitate the transformation of science and technology into strategic development variables. This center aims to increase the competitiveness of local industry and emerging companies through training, licensing of new technology, promoting the scientific and research potential of the academy, and through presenting matching business partners.
- Promotion of intellectual property;
- Technology licensing;
- Applied research and technology development.
The ICITT supports scientists through continuing education, seminars, conferences, and consulting services.
February 22, 23 and 24, 2017
The Institute of Scientific Research and High Technology Services (INDICASAT AIP) conceived and organized the “Technology Commercialization Workshop of Universities and Research Institutes of Panama”, the first event of this type organized in our country. This event had the support and collaboration of the National Secretariat of Science, Technology and Innovation (SENACYT), the General Directorate of Industrial Property (DIGERPI) of the Ministry of Commerce and Industries and the City of Knowledge.
Its objective was focused on providing the academic and research staff of the public and private institutions of Panama with tools to promote the transfer of their results to the industry in order to achieve technology-based ventures that improve the competitiveness of the industrial sector.
This three-day training was attended by experts from the academic, government and private sectors of the United States: Dr. Steven Kubisen, Administrative Director of the Office of Technology Commercialization at George Washington University; Mr. Steven Ferguson, Special Advisor on Technology Transfer at the National Institutes of Health; Ms. Marina Lamm, attorney-advisor to the Office of Policy and International Affairs at the United States Patent and Trademark Office, and Dr. Thomas Richardson, president of a consulting company specializing in emerging companies or start-ups.
All these institutions are part of a successful entrepreneurship model that the United States government has promoted since 1980 through laws such as the so-called “Bayh-Dole Law”, where universities and research institutions are granted ownership of the inventions generated. with federal funds
“Technology transfer is a critical component for research institutions to promote technologies to the market and support economic growth. The efforts of the INDICASAT AIP, SENACYT, the City of Knowledge and the Ministry of Commerce and Industries of Panama towards the realization of this workshop is an inspiring step for researchers, students and for the region ”- said Dr. Richardson
More than 100 people were registered from more than 20 universities, companies and government institutions including collaborators in the United States, the European Union and Latin America.
Among the participants were the Executive Vice President of Engineering and Program Administration of the Panama Canal, the Rector of the Inter-American University of Panama, the Vice-Rector for Research and Postgraduate Studies of the University of Panama, the Director of the Center for Innovation and Technology Transfer from the Technological University of Panama.
Attendees had the opportunity to evaluate the event and agreed that the information provided during these three days lays the foundation for starting technology-based entrepreneurship models with researchers from their institutions. However, they also indicated that they require more specialized information on key issues such as: protection strategies, technology valorization, and obtaining “seed capital” and “risk capital” for the creation of emerging companies or start-ups.
The academic and research institutions of Panama have the interest and the potential to create technology-based companies.
“Discussions with Panama’s faculty and researchers showed the depth and breadth of research in Panama. Researchers and government officials were excited about diversifying its economy by bringing new innovations to market. I believe this workshop will be seen as a great start in moving Panama toward its goal of a more diverse and innovative economy. The hospitality and enthusiasm of the people of Panama was remarkable. ” – said Dr. Kubisen.
One of the needs identified during the workshop is that there should be a greater offer of law firms in Panama that provide specialized patent preparation services. However, our system, although it does not seem to provide all the support tools to start this type of undertaking, does not present obstacles for Panamanians to initially rely on external systems such as those available in countries such as the United States.
Dra. Catherina Caballero-George
Coordinator of the Center for Innovation and Technology Transfer of INDICASAT AIP