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Assisting Small & Medium Enterprises (SMEs) to Innovate Through Technology Transfer

Economists have long understood that technology transfer is at the heart of economic growth and that the quantity and efficiency of such transfers determine the advancement of both rich and developing countries. Growth and innovation have always been intertwined, with development being the end result. Business ecosystems are heavily reliant on these developments, and technology dispersion plays a critical part in determining the organizations' destiny.


What is Technology Transfer?

Technology transfer is the initial step in the process of turning knowledge and discoveries into a product or service for the broader public.


The process of transferring technology from one individual or organization to another is known as technology transfer or transfer of technology (TOT). These transfers can take place across geographical and geopolitical borders between educational institutions, research institutes, businesses, multinational corporations, and governments. This technological diffusion might take place in a formal or informal manner and in an open or closed transaction. Attempts to share talents, technology, knowledge, manufacturing processes, and so on frequently result in such transfers. Technology transfer guarantees that new scientific and technological advances are freely accessible to a wider variety of users, allowing them to harness them for the betterment of society.


Role of IP in Technology Transfer

Appropriate and effective IPR protection supports developing countries in their economic growth and technology transfer and in obtaining benefits for innovation and generating returns on R&D investments. Insufficient IPR protection, on the other hand, leads to domestic enterprises spilling sensitive data, whilst excessive IPR protection leads to insufficient information transfer and stifles innovative growth. A technology's patent filing approach should address protection in nations where it will be manufactured, commercialized, and where competitors may operate. The type of technological breakthrough in question will usually define the path to market for a specific technology, depending on the sector and market opportunity. Further, before a potential licensee is interested in licensing out the technology, most inventions will require more research and testing. To get these inventions to a licensable level, you'll need to set up a technology maturation or proof of concept fund. If internal finance is limited, another option is to connect these ideas with local incubator programmes, which may help with technical and market validation and business development. All aspects of an innovation ecosystem must be brought together for a successful transfer of new technology to the market. A research and development strategy that is tightly linked to an IP strategy guarantees that research money is directed toward projects with the best chance of producing commercially viable IP. Solid IP management and technology transfer protocols ensure that the most promising discoveries get the help they need to be packaged for a potential licensee or start-up. Potential inventions are connected to industry and investors through incubators and accelerators. Last but not least, a culture that is willing to invest in innovation is required to foster the development of tech-based industries that drive economic growth.


The Background

Since 2013, South Korea has been running a programme to encourage large corporations to exchange technology with small businesses. Since then, the project has invited applications and shared patented technologies owned by large enterprises and government-led organizations with smaller companies for free to assist SMEs in improving their technological competency and growth. As many as 25 huge organizations have shared their technologies with smaller businesses, including Samsung Electronics.


Recent Developments by Samsung

Despite the economic and political risks and pandemic, Samsung Electronics remained focused on identifying growth engines, developing breakthrough technology and products, and pursuing creative solutions. They strengthened their leadership in good financial management, brand value, and corporate rankings across the global industry. In a solid yet humble move, Samsung Electronics will transfer 276 patented technologies to small and medium-sized firms for free this year. This comes after several small and medium-sized businesses sought free access to the patents and technology. Samsung is set to begin the transfer on May 11 and complete it on May 13, proving to be a boon for all the companies seeking it.


How does Tech Transfer benefit SMEs?

A fundamental component of corporate success is the capacity to transfer technology and generate innovative products. Technology transfer is essential for a company's innovation to be commercialized. Cutting-edge products can enter the market by allowing a company to gain revenue and grow. Technology transfer can benefit an economy by fostering innovation, entrepreneurship, and job development. The benefits to society are enormous in terms of lives saved, improved health, a cleaner environment, and numerous technological developments that bring new capabilities and move local, regional, national, and global economies forward through innovation.

To cite a few examples - Samsung Electronics' OTP-based security authentication (Bluetooth smart key) technology was transferred to another company, resulting in smartphone-controlled mailboxes. Further, a South Korean company that makes automatic external defibrillators produced the world's first Internet of Things (IoT) integrated monitoring device (AEDs). It also took advantage of Samsung Electronics' "service sharing via network" for free. This demonstrates SMEs can do wonders if they are given a push in the right direction.


The Next Move of Samsung

Samsung's focus on upgrading device technology while depending on partnerships to bring deeper functionality can go a long way toward maintaining customer loyalty related to apps and experiences rather than devices, which currently appear to be all too identical. For highly integrated software tailored for Samsung's new hardware, the company touted partnerships with Google, Microsoft, Snap, YouTube, and Luma Touch. Samsung named Google Duo as its video chat client of choice, Microsoft's OneNote is the top note-taking app for the S Pen stylus and OneDrive as its photo storage and sharing service. These alliances might continue to solve software shortages while also providing partners with a stable hardware base on which to build their solutions.


Its renewed emphasis on openness and collaboration marked a significant departure from Apple's restricted environment. Clearly, Samsung is focused more on streamlining and optimizing its technology transfer process to ensure a new product's timely and successful launch.


Patent Analysis - Samsung

Samsung is one of the world's largest electronic gadget manufacturers. Samsung manufactures a wide range of consumer and industrial electronics, including appliances, digital media devices, semiconductors, memory chips, and integrated systems, among other things. The patent data depicts that Samsung is the most active in the domain of Semiconductors and Audio and Video Tech. The highest number of patents are filed in the US in all sectors as the US is the hub of all technological advances. Korea, being the home ground for the brand, has a significant number of patents to its credit. However, China is seen as struggling to get a considerable number of patents due to China's geopolitical situation and rising labor costs. Within the last two years, Samsung shut down two major production plants in China, after news of a stifle competitive environment between Xiaomi and Samsung. Other countries have a relatively low number of patents as they do not rely heavily on imports from other countries as they are technologically sound.

Technology wise, the world is facing a semiconductor shortage and hence it is in great demand. On the other hand, audio and video tech has boosted up because of the digitalization era and many people spending time online more than usual.


Copperpod provides Technology Due Diligence services. Copperpod's intellectual property audit investigates existence, ownership, and market potential for all patents, trademarks, trade secrets and other intellectual property owned by the seller. To know more, contact the best IP consulting firm in the US.