PU professor honoured with WIPO NATIONAL AWARD FOR INVENTORS by GOI on World Intellectual Property Day

Chandigarh April 28, 2023

Professor Indu Pal Kaur, Chairperson (UIPS), Panjab University was bestowed upon with the prestigious WIPO NATIONAL AWARD FOR INVENTORS by the Government of India (GoI) on World Intellectual Property Day on 26th April 2023 at Vanijya Bhawan, New Delhi, to recognise and celebrate her immense contribution to Pharmaceutical Sciences. The award was presented by Hon’ble Shri Rajesh Kumar Singh Ji, Secretary, Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade (DPIIT), GoI along with Ms Himani Pandey (IAS, 1998 batch), Joint Secy DPIIT, Dr Chintan Vaishnav Mission Director, Atal Innovation Mission, and Professor (Dr) Unnat P. Pandit, Controller General of Patents, Designs and Trademarks (o/o CGPDTM), GoI. 

The World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) is the global forum for intellectual property services, policy, information and cooperation. WIPO National Award for Inventors is offered to outstanding inventors who have made inventions which are considered to be significant contributions to the economic and technological development of their respective countries. The World Intellectual Property Day is celebrated on April 26 every year for raising awareness about different forms of intellectual property rights to promote creativity and the contribution made by creators as well as innovators across the globe. This year’s theme for the World Intellectual Property Day was “Women and IP: Accelerating innovation and creativity” where women’s contribution in innovation, creativity and their intellectual property rights was conducted. 

Prof. Kaur was also invited as a panelist in the discussion on the theme “Achieving the Excellence in IP-Driven Research by Women Professionals”. She represented as an academic entrepreneur with highest number of patents filed, granted and commercialized to her credit. She highlighted that women by nature are endowed to be artistic, innovative and creative and have a flair for ingenuity. However, she emphasized that being a professional she has never asked for any discounts for being a woman, hence she does not expect or accept any marginalisation or relegation for being a woman. Irrespective of gender, she felt that there is a need to emphasize the slogan ‘Patent and Flourish versus Publish and Perish’ amongst the scientific community. She urged one and all to step out of their ‘comfort zones’ and accept the newer challenges and draw on an inner strength and courage to file a patent application for their novel ideas and research, before giving in to the urge and compulsion to publish. The passion for innovation should be the driving force always, but it is important to identify the gaps or unmet need, and also couple literature search with prior art and patent search. 

Further she mentioned that scientists should focus on keeping their inventions simple and translatable; the resources, capability and regulatory requirement of the relevant industry should be kept in mind to ensure scalability of the product. She said that filing a patent application is the start and not end of the journey; commercialization should be considered the culminating point of any fruitful research. Existing policies and grants by the Government favour a strong hand holding between industry and the academia. She also mentioned that Panjab University was amongst the first Universities in the Country to have in place a Centre for Industry Institute Partnership Programme (CIIPP) since 1996. She introduced herself by saying that she belongs to an almost 80 year old, high performing Pharmacy Institute, which inspite of being a humble department from a state university, boasts of 11 technology transfers and 8 products in the market coupled with almost 100 granted patents.

Dr Vibha M Sawhney, Head, IPU, CSIR chaired the session besides other panelists Ms Deepali Upadhyay, Program Director, NITI Aayog; Dr Pratima Solanki, Asst. Professor, JNU; and Dr Usha Rao, Asst. Controller of Patents and Designs.

US Embassy, USPTO also recognised Professor Kaur UIPS, for her I P value on this day by putting up a social media post describing the ‘Equation’ that makes her up including the Value Factors that went into her innovations. 

She was also bestowed with the prestigious NATIONAL INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY AWARD 2021–2022 for being the “Top Indian Individual for Patents Filing, Grant & Commercialization,” out of a total of more than 200 applications under the category. She has transferred four technologies developed in her lab to the Industry. She has been granted twelve Indian and one US patent and has filed 20 more patent applications. Prof. Kaur is consistently listed among 2% top cited global scientists in Pharmacy and Pharmacology category across the globe as per Stanford University, USA, since 2020.

Prof. Kaur is an active researcher with more than 33 years of teaching and research experience. Emphasis of her work lies on Industrial and clinical translation of the research produced in her lab. Her Ph.D students are invariably accredited with 1-2 patent applications in addition to high impact publications.

Prof. Kaur was also awarded US-Fulbright Professional Excellence Fellowship (FNAPE)’ for 6 months from November, 2017- May, 2018. Among her other achievements the BRIC Technology Exposition Award for consecutive 2 years i.e. 2019 and 2020 need a special mention as these are again for innovative technologies and ideas. Her lab is highly funded and has several collaborations with scientists across the globe.