NEW DELHI: Indian Institute of Technology Bombay has overtaken its counterpart in Chennai in terms of filing of patent applications for engineering and technology innovations, bucking a trend of the past several years.
According to data available with the Union Ministry of Human Resource Development, students and faculty members from IIT Bombay applied for 146 patents in 2016 — the highest figure for any IIT in any year — as against 122 applications filed by IIT Madras last year. With just 34 applications, IIT Kharagpur stood at a distant third position.
In 2014 and 2015, IIT Madras had filed the maximum number of applications — a sign of substantial research work and technological innovations being carried out at an engineering institute — while IIT Kharagpur and IIT Bombay were close behind.
“IIT Madras has traditionally been filing the highest number of patent applications, so the drop in the latest data has come as a surprise,” an HRD ministry official said.
He added that the actual number of patents granted to researchers and innovators from IITs was still very low as compared to world-renowned technology institutes. “But it’s important that the number of applications is rising over the years in India as it’s a sign of a gradually strengthening research system”.
A total of 563 applications for patents were filed in the country in 2016 by the IITs and a few other reputed engineering institutes. About a decade ago, this number stood at just about 50.
An official attached with IIT Bombay said that the rise in patent applications by the institute could be attributed to the fact that its research and development wing had been going after both faculty and students.
“The abstracts of the reports of Masters in Technology project work are now being assessed by the R & D office personnel every year,”the official said.