In the University environment, innovation is understood as a scientific discovery which is finding, or has already found, its way to the market.
Innovation (in accordance with the definition formulated by the Department of Statistics of the Republic of Lithuania) is commercial application of new technologies, ideas, and methods by presenting new or improved products (goods or services) to the market or by implementing new (improved) technological processes of production (or provision of services).
The birth, development, or experimental development of a scientific idea, technology, or invention take place in scientific divisions – faculties or institutes. The management of intellectual property rights is guided by the Department of Science and Innovations, while the advice on business opportunities or finding the way to the market is provided by Klaipėda Science and Technology Park (KMTP) or well-known experts from industry and business.
The innovation process is a chain of complex processes (see the figure), when a new technology or knowledge gets successfully introduced into the market in one or another form. The beginning of the chain is a scientific idea, technology, or invention, which is further continued by R&D (experimental development of science and technologies) activities during which the initial prototype of the product is created. Then we have all the prerequisites for starting the procedures for the IP (intellectual property) validation.Upon the IP validation and the development of a business plan for a new product, we are looking for ways to commercialize the invention, i.e. we find business partners or set up start-ups (new companies with Klaipėda University as a shareholder).
Over the last two years, in cooperation with KU, five start-ups have been set up and successfully continue their activity. For more information about start-ups, see: Information on the KU Innovations.
Intellectual property is intangible asset which represents the outcome of human creativity and intellectual work, the product of mind (intellect, thinking, a thought) protected by the law as any other form of property. The intellectual property right protects inventions, creativity, and ingenuity.
Simultaneously, intelectual property rights is one of the essential elements of the innovation process. It can be defined as a “packaging” of a scientific product, which allows one to begin commercial negotiations. At Klaipėda University, the intellectual property rights management activities are carried out by the Department of Science and Innovations, which also helps to find partners for commercialising the product in domestic and foreign markets.
In contemporary international and the Republic of Lithuanian legal acts, intellectual property is divided into two broad areas:
- Copyright (including related rights), objects of which are literary, artistic, and scientific works;
- industrial property – patents, trademarks, industrial designs, geographical indications, topographies of semiconductor products, trade secrets and know-how, sui generis rights, etc.
If the first group intellectual property rights (copyright, related rights) occur automatically, without special efforts of the author or the acquirer of the rights, then the most important industrial property rights are granted only after special registration and expert examination procedures that are legally regulated.
More differences between these areas are presented in the table:
The differences between copyright and industrial property rights:
|Copyright and related rights||Industrial rights|
|Protect any works and objects of related rights||Protect only objects that meet stringent requirements|
|Provided automatically and free of charge, without special efforts of the author or the rights acquirer||Provided only after special registration and examination procedures that which may take up to several years.Registration and support of the rights are paid and quite expensive.|
|Automatically valid internationally (on the basis of international agreements)||Essentially the object of the national law, internationally valid only after national procedures|
|Excessive non-commercial and similar exceptions and limitations||There are almost no exceptions and restrictions|
|Allowing independent creation of an analogous (similar) object||Any creation or use of an analogous (similar) object is considered to be a violation of rights|
INFORMATION ABOUT KU INNOVATIONS
In collaboration with business and industry, scientists are actively developing innovative solutions through outsourcing (in 2014, 23 contracts were implemented for over 700 thousand euros, and in 2015, 20 contracts), as well as other activities aimed at commercialization of scientific achievements.
KU divisions (in particular the Faculty of Marine Technology and Natural Sciences) are actively using the global grant measure Inočekiai LT, which aims to increase the competitiveness of the national economy, business productivity, and the comparative part of high value-added business, as well as to encourage small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) to innovate and promote science and business cooperation. Under this measure, in 2012-2014, Klaipėda University cooperated with the following companies: UAB Hoja Electronics, UAB Naviprofa, UAB Idea Group, UAB Proromsta, UAB Koris, UAB Hydraulic arsenal, UAB Infosta, UAB Palangos tiltas, UAB Profis, UAB IT Uostas, and UAB Omega Technology Ltd. The most active creators of innovations, in collaboration with business, successfully set up start-up companies and develop new marketable high-tech, often related to online technologies.
The scientists of Klaipėda University and their groups participated in the process of forming the national strategy of Smart Specialization and are preparing to actively participate in its implementation activities.
Lately, successful start-ups are being developed: Translatio; Scando; Solutera; Inotecha; and Hitmix1.