The Academy’s most important asset is its immensely valuable intellectual property, MTA’s President József Pálinkás said at a press conference where MTA’s new policy on intellectual property was announced.
The regulation on protecting and managing intellectual property was prescribed by MTA’s 183rd General Assembly in May 2012. The resolution of the General Assembly states that “MTA’s innovation system must ensure a co-ordinated approach in dealing with scientific research, publications, patents procedures, scientific communications and industrial rights’ protection. The patent rights of institutional and employee inventions created in the research centres (or research institutes) belong to the given institutions’ sphere of competence. The new patents and types can be registered on behalf of the research centre (or research institute), which can decide about the sale of property rights.”
The President’s Strategic Advisory Body in its execution recommendation of the Academy’s comprehensive institutional renewal program had proposed the creation of a unified institutional patent policy by encouraging a conscious intellectual property management to boost the institutions’ intellectual property related revenues.
The President of the Hungarian Intellectual Property Office (HIPO) also commented on the new intellectual property management regulation issued with a Presidential decree. “The draft is excellent because it takes into account the professional experience acquired in state-financed research institutions over the last 10 years – since the law on innovation was passed – and it lists them as best practice. I want to praise the efforts to create a balance between researchers’ and institutions’ interests, the former who create these inventions and the latter that provide the financial means to conduct them. We must encourage research centres and research institutes by promoting a conscious and generous intellectual property management that profits the Academy, but we must not forget about the fact that an intellectual property cannot be successfully utilised unless the researchers and inventors are willing to facilitate the process. Their interest in the utilisation process must be supported by financial and moral recognition as well.”
“The asset management principles approved by the General Assembly guidelines regarding intellectual property are especially important, and they form the basis of other assets’ utilisation principles”, József Pálinkás said.
MTA’s President said that the regulation creates a balance between institutional and individual interests, publication pressures and the results’ utilisation, furthermore between discovery and targeted research. “Not only the protection, but also the utilisation of intellectual property is important” he added.
“As far as Hungary’s financial efficiency and competitiveness are concerned, discovery research and inventors’ innovation are equally important” said HIPO’s President Miklós Bendzsel, highlighting MTA’s most significant international accomplishments. “The Academy has a significant role in the world of science confirmed by European academic policy-makers, a confirmation voiced e.g. during the recent visit of the European Commission’s Chief Scientific Advisor Anne Glover.”
HIPO’s President welcomed the restructuring of MTA’s institutional network that created an efficient network consisting of 10 research centres and 5 research institutes instead of the previous 50 or so institutions. Miklós Bendzsel praised the achievements of the Biological Research Centre in Szeged, the Research Centre for Natural Sciences, the Centre for Agricultural Research, as well as the Computer and Automation Research Institute and the Institute of Experimental Medicine and stressed that these five institutions together provide two thirds of MTA’s internationally patented active or passive intellectual property.
The regulation’s main principles can be summarised as follows:
1. With the new regulation the Academy established a central intellectual property policy that sets a unified regulatory framework and modernises the regulations governing intellectual property in the renewed academic research institute network.
2. In compliance with the fundamental right for the freedom of science laid out in Hungary’s Constitution, the regulation creates harmony between the budget-operated institutions’ need for an efficient utilisation of intellectual property and the individual researchers’ personal ambitions.
3. The regulation takes into account the different characteristics of intellectual creations primarily originating from discovery research and sets the rules for the protection and utilisation of intellectual property accordingly.
4. The regulation involves researchers in their own intellectual property protection and utilisation processes. It informs and motivates them, and it protects their interests inside the institution and against external partners.
5. The regulation governs intellectual property issues (e.g. copyright works) that were previously unregulated. This enables MTA to be a good steward, and to keep up with a community requirement emerging increasingly for quick access (Open Access).
6. The regulation contains the basic rules for intellectual property protection and assessment. Its detailed protocol creates a routine for intellectual property management procedures, for decision-making about the involvement of external experts and reduces the risks inherent in early phase innovation management.
7. The regulation is complete with document templates in order to assist administrative procedures.
8. The regulation governs the role of spin-off enterprises, operating rather controversially recently, and creates an appropriate legal background that can take care of the risks involved.
9. The regulation makes provisions for international research activities. It provides direction regarding the contractual and personnel aspects of no risk participation in consortia.
10. The regulation contributes to transparent technology transfer in industrial co-operations. It includes guarantee and liability models that provide safe opportunities to MTA and MTA researchers as contracting parties in the long run.
The agreement in force until 31 Dec 2014 signed by MTA and HIPO – József Pálinkás and Miklós Bendzsel, respectively – serves the purposes of researchers’ continuous training. Its main objective is to increase intellectual properties protection in MTA’s institutional network, to raise the awareness of Hungarian researchers and academic circles regarding intellectual property protection and to support value-based utilisation of R&D practices. The agreement stipulates that HIPO will organise professional consultations and seminars to MTA institutions’ colleagues (financed by the Academy) as it has been the case in recent years in order to better protect and utilise intellectual property. MTA and HIPO explore co-operation opportunities in the fields of technology transfer, intellectual property assessment and intellectual property protection, with special regard to the use of industrial rights’ protection services and the organisation of events in the topic of technology transfer, and create a bridge between researchers and the industry. Signatories commit themselves to inform each other about issues arising in Hungarian R&D and innovation policy, and to launch common initiatives upon request.