Tools for innovation

Electronic platforms help researchers establish partnerships and find patent information more easily

Carreiras 243_AbreVeridiana ScarpelliThe Management and Strategic Studies Center (CGEE), a non-profit association supervised by the Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation (MCTI), has developed a set of electronic tools to help researchers from academia and businesses manage science, technology and innovation activities. One of the tools, Insight Net, identifies professionals with specific expertise in different areas to set up collaboration networks. To this end, over four million academic Lattes Platform resumes are used to set up networks based on co-authored publications and similarity of areas of activity, zeroing in on individuals who work on a given technology or in specific scientific areas.

Another CGEE platform, Insight Data, helps researchers find and analyze more easily a large volume of information on patents in databases in Brazil and abroad. Also, it uses keywords to find information in repositories of sci-tech articles. “Our platform monitors changes in patents by area of knowledge, determines which countries lead in the development of a given technology, and obtains other important statistical information for characterizing technological landscapes,” says Rodrigo Leonardi, CGEE technical advisor. For information about this and other platforms, visit the CGEE web site.

When a project ends, researchers usually want intellectual protection for their findings. Patrícia Leal Gestic, Director of Innovation and Intellectual Property of the Innovation Agency (Inova) at the University of Campinas (Unicamp), recommends as a first step that they determine whether their findings are novel and whether they can be applied on an industrial scale. To facilitate the search, Inova uses Questel Orbit, a tool that searches patents in repositories such as the Derwent Innovations Index provided by Thomson Reuters, and the US institution where patents are filed (USPTO). Derwent consolidates over 11 million patent summaries, and the USPTO has seven million US patents in many areas. There is also Espacenet of the European Patent Office (EPO), with more than 60 million patents from a host of countries. Questel Orbit is available on Unicamp computers only. In Brazil, the main database of this type is in the Brazilian Industrial Property Institute (INPI), available to anyone.

“It is important for researchers to check these databases before they begin their research,” Gestic says. “This will help them situate their projects while taking into account the technological novelty principle and possible applications.” The strategy has been successful.

At FAPESP, the Technology Patents and Licensing Center (Nuplitec) is in charge of managing intellectual property for projects funded by the institution. “We assist universities with intellectual property matters generated by FAPESP projects through the Program for the Support of Intellectual Property Rights (PAPE),” says Patricia Tedeschi, head of Nuplitec.