AUTM ASIA Conference 2017

The Association of University Technology Managers (AUTM) is a nonprofit organization based in the U.S. dedicated to supporting and advancing academic technology transfer globally through education, professional development, partnering and advocacy.  AUTM Asia 2017 is a gateway to learn and explore IP opportunities in Asia and Greater China.  The conference was held at Science Park in Hong Kong from 23 to 26 April 2017.

In the beginning, Ms. Mary Albertson (President, AUTM) gave a welcome speech.  She introduced that AUTM is an organization of more than 3,200 members from 57 countries.  Their mission is to support and advance academic technology transfer globally.  She also mentioned that ZTE and Huawei Technologies with the top number of Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT) application published in 2016 based on World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) statistics.  Such rapid growth of intellectual property (IP) cases highlights choosing location for the conference, here in Hong Kong, a strategically significant one.

Then a group photo was taken included guest Mr. Nicholas W. Yang (Secretary for Innovation and Technology, HKSAR).

The first session was “Presidents Forum”.  Ms. Katharine Ku (Stanford University) was moderator.  The panel participants included Prof. Jian Lu (CityU), Prof. Rick Wong (HKBU), Prof. Joseph Sung (CUHK), Prof. Philip Chan (PolyU), Prof. Enboa Wu (HKUST), Prof. Paul Tam (HKU) and Prof. Rui Paulo do Silva (University of Macau). 

During the tea break, I met Dr. Victor Lau (Technology Transfer Officer, KTO, CityU) and took a photo for memory.

The first keynote speaker was Judge Randell R. Rader (Former Chief Judge of US Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit) and he discussed what US going to do and how important of IP.

The second speaker was Prof. Yesha Y. Sivan (Executive Director, The Coller Institute of Venture, Tel Aviv University) and his presentation entitled “The Role of Universities in the Future of Global Innovations”.  Firstly, he demonstrated a video for graduate startup sharing.  Then he said his research strands on venture included Policy, History of venture, Deep Innovation and University Venture.  

Prof. Yesha Y. Sivan introduced his university classical roles followed the ratio among Research, Education and Impact were 40%, 40% & 20%, respectively.  He explained Research creating new knowledge, Education transferring of knowledge and Impact using of knowledge.  He asked a question about the relationship between university and venture.  He then advised that “STOP: Don’t be Harvard”, “CAUTION: You are not in Silicon Valley” and “GO: Seek new models for research teaching, and service”.  

He raised some green points as follows:
-          Connect with Policy of Venture
-          Learn from History of Venture
-          Deep Innovation (Looking at “other” domains of venture that NOT digital/cyber things.) (E.g. BioMedX Model)
-          Connect with the regional agenda
And he introduced a new venture models (e.g. XINOVA model, Google X)

Finally, he concluded his five concrete insights included investing your energy to think and do; considering right mix of venture; how maturity of your region; gamble/focus on relevant large scale regional comparative and competitive edge; and align the venture force with university strategy.

Prof. Dan Shechtman (Nobel Laureate in Chemistry (2011); Professor of Materials Science, Technion – Israel Institute of Technology, Haifa) was the third speaker and his topic named “Why should we teach Technological Entrepreneurship in University”.  He pointed out some problems the world faced today included struggling economies, population growth, internal wars and refugees.

Then he compared Hong Kong and Israel.  Hong Kong was older than Israel!  Moreover, demographics data showed that Israel number of children per woman was 3.1 but Hong Kong was 1.2 in 2014.  Hong Kong had not enough young people and became aging population!  He proposed two solutions that one is to encourage larger families through government policy and the other is to encourage technological entrepreneurship.

Prof. Dan Shechtman said technological entrepreneurship was a solution to Low GDP per Capita (poverty), High Unemployment and Disenchanted People.  He added human ingenuity is the most important natural resource of any country.  The following diagram showed that the most important was good Teachers!

Then all guest speakers discussed in the plenary session named “How the Global Changes in Innovation and Venture Environment would Impact the University System”.  

In afternoon, I joined the session named “Entrepreneurship & Technology Transfer in China, Singapore, United states and United Kingdom”.  The first speaker was Prof. Ikhlaq Sidhu (Chief Scientist and Founding Director, Sutardja Center for Entrepreneurship & Technology, Industrial Engineering & Operations Research, UC Berkeley) and he introduced their Berkeley Method that emphasized mindset & behaviors.

Then he introduced the innovation collider to develop people through “Campus Life and Research Activity”, “Education for Mindset”, “Acceleration” and “Cross-cutting”.  Finally, he mentioned their perspective on technology transfer through IP management strategies.  

The second speaker was Mr. Peter Mok (Head, Incubation Programmes, HKSTP) and he presented the topic “Hong Kong’s Innovation and Technology Ecosystem”.  In the beginning, Peter introduced Hong Kong Science and Technology Parks Corporation included Science Park, InnoCentre and Industrial Estates.  Then he briefed our new projects SPX that two new building to be built and would be completed in 2020.  

The future direction of the knowledge and technology corridor was stated that included LMC Loop (HK-Shenzhen Joint Innovation and Technology Park).  

Finally, he introduced our incubation program “Incu-App, Incu-Tech and Incu-Bio” as well as different supporting schemes for entrepreneurship.  

Dr. Steve Cleverley (Head of Oxentia, Oxford University) was the third speaker and he presented the Entrepreneurship in the UK University sector – Changes, Challenges & Opportunities.

Dr. Cleverley introduced the entrepreneurship was the marriage of Innovation and Enterprise.  It included four areas in the University Sector and they were “Traditional ‘STEM’ Research”, “Arts, Humanities & Social Sciences”, “Business Schools & Alumni” and “Students”.  

Prof. Den Huan Hooi (Director, Nanyang Technopreneurship Center, Nanyang Technological University) was the fourth speaker and he introduced the Entrepreneurship & Technology Transfer in Singapore Inc.  He said Singapore as an entrepreneur.  A resource-poor Startup when the country became independent in 1965.  

Then Prof. Hooi mentioned the Value Gap diagram and how Singapore created values.  They focused some of the mainstream economic sectors included Chemicals, Electronic and Precision Engineering, Manufacturing including Pharmaceuticals, Logistics and Transport Services, InfoComms and Media, Financial Services, and Tourism.

Other key areas included Biomedical Sciences, Environmental and Water Technologies, Interactive and Digital Media.  Those areas developed to become a sustainable enterprise through the Sustainable Loop.  Based on Committee on the Future Economy report, further development of Singapore would be a vibrant city of opportunity, a quality home that can spur innovation and attract talent.  There are three themes (1) Stay Open and Connected; (2) Innovate and Scale-up; and (3) Adapt and Transform. 

Mr. Dongfang Liu (Partner, Patent & Trademark Attorney, Technology Broker, Beijing Longan Law Firm) was the last speaker and his topic entitled “Legal & Regulatory Requirement for Technology Transfer and Patent Protection of Innovation in China”.  He mentioned some relevant laws and regulations as follows:
-          Law of the PRC on Promoting the Transformation of scientific and Technology Achievements
-          Law of the PRC on Science and Technology Progress
-          Regulations on Technology Import and Export Administration of PRC

Finally, the discussion forum was performed and many different ideas exchanging during the Q&A session.




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