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‘The mechanism of commercialization is developed,’ an interview by Alexander Shumilin for Nauka I Innovatsii

‘The mechanism of commercialization is developed,’ an interview by Alexander Shumilin for Nauka I Innovatsii

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‘The mechanism of commercialization is developed,’ an interview by Alexander Shumilin for Nauka I Innovatsii

The amendments to the Decree of the Head of State No. 59 “On Commercialization of the Results of Scientific and Scientific and Technical Activities Created at the Expense of Public Funds” were made by the Decree of the President of the Republic of Belarus no. 240 of July 18, 2018. We received the comments on this matter from Alexander Shumilin, Chairman of the State Committee on Science and Technology of the Republic of Belarus, Doctor of Economics.

Nauka I Innovatsii: ‘Alexander, was the terminology modified in the new edition of the Decree?’

Alexander: ‘Taking into account the practical application of the norms of the Decree, the terminology is adjusted. Some terms have been clarified in the document, and new concepts have been introduced, such as “task for a budget organization”, “transfer of property rights to the result of scientific and technical activities”, “granting the right to use the result of scientific-technical activities”, “social effect”, which exclude discrepancies of the norms of the Decree and provide a more precise definition of professional terms. In particular, the assignment for the budgetary organization, the recipient of the funds of innovation funds, is determined as the document approved by the state customer, which provides for technical and economic parameters and deadlines for the implementation of a particular R & D at the expense of the provided public funds.

The concept of “transfer of property rights to the result of scientific-technical activities” is significantly extended in the new edition. Now the list of such results includes information that makes up the secrets of production (know-how), objects of intellectual property and  documented scientific and technical information that is not an object of intellectual property. The decree no. 240 specifies the definition of “social effect”.

It refers to changes in the economic, social, cultural, environmental, legal and political areas that create conditions for the development of the individuals and improve the quality of life due to the use of the results of scientific and technical activities (including in case of adoption of administrative and managerial measures and decisions by state bodies and organizations), and are not related to the cost-effective implementation of the results of scientific-technical activities or goods (works, services) created using such results.’

Nauka I Innovatsii: ‘The most acute issue in this area is the distribution of rights to the results of scientific and technical activities obtained due to budgetary funds or with the partial use of them. Which novels are contained in the new document in this respect?’

Alexander: ‘In accordance with the new edition of the Regulation on the Results of Commercialization of Scientific and Technical Activities Created at the Expense of Public Funds, approved by the Decree of the President of the Republic of Belarus no. 240, the decision to determine the owner of property rights for the results of scientific and technical activities, the transfer of such rights and the granting of the right to use results to other persons, as well as the terms and methods of commercialization are accepted by the state customer, if necessary, it is done collectively. The right holder is determined in accordance with the legislation of intellectual property with respect to the results of scientific-technical activities, which are protected as an intellectual property objects. The executors were given the opportunity to grant gratuitously the right to use the results of scientific and technical activities to residents of the Republic of Belarus free of charge, subject to the subsequent commercialization of these results. This norm helps create more favorable conditions for developers to implement their innovations in practice. To prevent leakage of the results abroad, obtained from the budgetary funds, additional requirements are envisaged for the free transfer of property rights to the results of scientific-technical activities to non-state economic entities or organizations created with the participation of foreign persons.’

Nauka I Innovatsii: ‘The revealed violations of the legislation and the terms of state contracts, which concern issues of legal protection, state registration and use of the results of intellectual activity created at the expense of budgetary allocations, became quite resonant in the scientific environment and were accompanied by the reluctance of researchers and developers to adopt the funds allocated by the budget. Did scientists get the right to risk?’

Alexander: ‘The new version of the Decree takes into account the risk of scientific, scientific and technical and innovative activities at the expense of the determination of significant objective reasons: force majeure circumstances, adoption of legislative acts prohibiting the production and sale of certain goods, liquidation of a legal entity, determined as a manufacturer of goods, executor of works and services, at the stage of commercialization of these results if the said entity was the only producer of this product in Belarus. The emergence of any of the above circumstances at the stage of development of the created products will release bona fide customers and executors from liability in case of failure to fulfill the tasks set and will avoid refusal to carry out works with increased risks for a number of areas, which are important for the country.’

Nauka I Innovatsii: ‘Have the terms and methods of commercializing the results of scientific-technical activities been changed?

Alexander:  ‘Typically, the period during which the product must be brought to the market is limited to three years after the completion of the R & D. The new version of the Regulations provides for the possibility to set the time for commercialization of results of scientific and technical activities  taking into account their specifics, the need for obtaining patents, holding long-term clinical trials, etc. This norm will enable the state customer to extend the period of introduction of the developments if it is conditioned by specific objective reasons, in agreement with the State Committee on Science and Technology.

As for the ways to commercialize the results of the scientific and technical activities, it should be noted that the Decree provides for a detailed list of possible options. The sale of goods, works, services created using the results of scientific and technical activities, or the use of the latter ones for their own needs; granting or full transfer of the right to use the results of the scientific and technical activities on a reimbursable basis to other persons, documented scientific and technical information ; a gratuitous transfer of information (or parts of it) that make up the secrets of production (know-how), as well as property rights to the results of scientific and technical activities or gratuitous granting of the right to use them with the condition of the subsequent commercialization by the acquirer of these rights; a refundable transfer of information (or parts of it), which makes up secrets of production (know-how) and documented scientific and technical information are among them.’

Nauka I Innovatsii: Legislative norms concerning the stimulation of intellectual creativity and innovators creating a product based on intellect required a significant revision. Has the legislator corrected this shortcoming?’

Alexander: ‘The government of our country sets the task to develop systemic measures to stimulate the creation and use of objects of industrial property right as part of the implementation of the strategy of the Republic of Belarus in the field of intellectual property for 2012-2020. In this connection, the normative acts regulating this area are constantly being improved. So, on July 5 of this year, the resolution of the Council of Ministers of the Republic of Belarus no. 523 was adopted. This resolution, in accordance with the new edition of the Law of the Republic of Belarus “On Patents for Inventions, Useful Models and Industrial Designs”, introduced amendments, including in the Resolution of the Council of Ministers of the Republic of Belarus no. 368 “On Approval of the Regulations on the Procedure and Conditions for State Incentives for the Creation and Use of Objects of Industrial Property Rights”. It is supplemented by the norms regulating the procedure for payment and calculation of the amount of compensation the employee has the right to in case the employer does not receive a patent for the official obligatory pension insurance according to the application submitted for reasons depending on him.

In turn, the State Committee on Science and Technology of the Republic of Belarus adopted the following resolutions: “On the Determination of Forms of Documents for the Grant of a Patent for an Invention”; “On the Determination of Forms of Documents for the Grant of a Patent for a Useful Model”; “On the Determination of Forms of Documents for the Grant of a Patent for an Industrial Design”; “On Introduction of Amendments to Some Resolutions of the State Committee on Science and Technology of the Republic of Belarus and Recognizing Certain Decisions of the State Committee on Science and Technology of the Republic of Belarus as Invalid”; “On Some Issues of Maintaining State Registers of Objects of Industrial Property Rights”.

Nauka I Innovatsii: ‘Have the changes been made in the order of forming the system for recording the results of R & D?’

Alexander: ‘Yes, there are such amendments. Now it is necessary to register the results of the scientific-technical activities in the state register, the results which were subject to compulsory commercialization, as well as the results of scientific-technical activities, which are not subject to obligatory commercialization, for which the state customer provides for their introduction into a civil circulation. Information on the number and date of registration of the rights to the results of the scientific-technical activities and the names of these results contained in the state register is specified in the contracts. These contracts provide for the transfer of property rights for development or rights to use it by the owner to another person.

Thus, the mechanism for commercializing the results of scientific and technological activities created by public funds has become more sophisticated and will facilitate the implementation of promising scientific and technological developments, including high-risk ones.’