Tuesday October 26, 2004 PUTRAJAYA: The Government is drawing up a Bill toprovide incentives for researchers to devote their time to doing researchand development work with commercial potential.
The bill is being modelled after the United States’ Bagh Dole Act, whichallows scientists to own part of the intellectual property rights as areward.
Science, Technology and Innovation Minister Datuk Dr Jamaluddin Jarjissaid the move was part of the government’s plan to speed up the country’sresearch and development capacity.
After years of spearheading R&D programmes, the Government is still notsatisfied with the outcome.
The problem now is that many scientists tend to treat such works as atrophy or as a means to move ahead in academia.
What we want is R&D works in areas that can be commercialised,particularly in the fields that the country is very strong in, like palmoil, he said.
By giving them a percentage of the IP in research funded by theGovernment, we hope to create a core of local scientists who will have aclear idea on the economic impact of their works, he told reporters afterreceiving Nobel Laureate Professor Dr Douglas Osheroff at his officeyesterday.
Jamaluddin said that under another short-term measure to kick-start thecountry’s R&D programme in specific fields, the Government had plans tobuy niche technology developed by foreign scientists.
The Government, he said, would act as the lead agency in acquiring suchtechnology.
He said his ministry would also seek a bigger allocation for R&D from theGovernment to help local universities build alliances with foreignuniversities like Stanford, and to encourage local researchers to buildsimilar ties with the world’s scientific community.