TODAY -

Reminiscence of attempts made for Technology Transfer and Academic Entrepreneurship at Manipur University
- Part 2 -

Dr N Irabanta Singh *



Mass Awarness Programme on Parthenium menace in North-East India

One day awareness programme on the ill-effect of P. hysterophorus on human and live-stock health' was organized at Uripok Naoremthong Epathoukok Club, Imphal West District, Manipur on 13th March, 2011. The beneficiaries were club volunteers and local people of Naoremthong area. Noaremthong is one of the places where Parthenium is heavily infested area.

The programme was engaged in delivering lecture regarding the diseases caused by Parthenium on human and live-stock and about the development of possible biological control for the management of Parthenium. The Principal Investigator and other project fellows were involved in imparting the programme. Poster, Charts along with audio-visual film on diseases caused by Pathenium and management of Parthenium through the selected biocontrol agents were also used as teaching aids.

In another project entitled " Biological control based integrated Parthenium Management for saving environment health and biodiversity in North-East India" funded by DOB/GoI (22nd June , 2015 to 21st December, 2018), the intensity of Parthenium infestation was high in Assam, Manipur and Nagaland, medium in Tripura, Arunachal Pradesh and low in Meghalaya, Sikkim.

In Mizoram, Parthenium was not found all as surveyed sites Mexican beatles 2,38,000 in No.s) procured from Directorate of Weed Science Research, Jabalpur were released in all the states of North-East India during 2015 to 18 except Mizoram. These Mexican beetles fails to acclimatized in the climatic condition of North-East India.

For biological control of Parthenium, Cassia tora seeds where bought and broadcasted in previously Pathenium infested region before the onset of monsoon. It was observed that Parthenium population was reduced by 28% to 30%.

Awareness among the people of North-East India about the ill-effect of Parthenium and its management was conducted by visiting educational institutions, research centre and many localities where Parthenium infestation are high. Articles related to Parthenium had been published in the local Newspaper (English Version) to create awareness among the people of North-East India.

(b) Extension Bulletin

Under team leadership of Prof. N.I. Singh, an extension bulletin in Manipur version on " BGA biofertilizer was released during 1994 for use by the local farmers and extensive workers under the leadership of Prof. N.I. Singh, another extension bulletin in Manipuri version on "BGA and Azolla biofertilizer technology for rice" was also released by Prof. I.S. Khaidem , VC., Manipur University during 1994 for use by the local farmers and extension workers

Under the team leadership of Prof. N.I. Singh, an extension bulletin entitle "Artificial Cultivation of Pleurotus (Oyster mushroom) in Manipur" (Manipuri version) was also published in 2000 with financial assistance from, the Indian Council of Forestry Research & Education, Dehra Dun. The bulletin was released by Dr. J.K. Sharma, Director. Kerala Forest Research Institute, Peechi on 22nd April, 2000 who visited Life Sciences Department, Manipur University, as an expert to Assess the progress of research work on "Wild Edible Fungi of Manipur".

Under the team leadership of Prof. N.I. Singh, another extension bulletin "A Guide for artificial production of Agaricus, Auricularia and Pleurotus spawns" was also released during 2002 with financial assistance from D.S.T., Government of India for the benefit of local growers.

Three extension bulletins on " Biological Based Integrated Management of Parthenium" (English, Bangla Manipuri and Meitei Mayek Versions) prepared by Prof. N. Irabanta Singh, Principal investigator, DOB/GoI Twining project for Parthenium Management in North-East India were released on 17 November 2018 by ญญญญญญญญญญญญญญญญShri Jarnail Singh, IAS (Retrd), Administrator, Manipur University at the conference hall of the Vice-Chancellor, Manipur University.

Parthenium hysteriophorus (Congress Grass) is a herbaceous, erect, and annual plant belonging to family Asteraceae (Compositae). The plant is poisonous, pernicious, problematic, allergic and aggressive weed using a serious threat to human beings and Live-Stock. Parthenium can be managed by its natural anemies like injects, fungi, competitive plants. Host species Mexican beetles proved beneficial in countering Parthenium, Biological control agents such as introducing Cassia tora (Thounam Macha) can also reduced Parthenium by 28% to 30%.

Discussion

The 21s century University is an entrepreneurial university with a mission of economic development, in addition to research and teaching, and interdisciplinary organizational structure that facilitate knowledge-based innovation (Etzkowitz, Webster, Gebhardt, and Terra, 2000; Rothaermel, Agung, and Jiang, 2007). A university in which research is routinely scrutinized for both commercial and scientific potential is becoming the prevailing academic institution (Etzkowitz, 2003).

Universities need to be entrepreneurial institutions in order to fulfill their purpose of fostering creativity and responsiveness to scientific, technological, and economic changes in society (Grigg, 1994). Such universities have the internal capabilities to translate research results into intellectual property and economic activity. It seems that technology transfer will become more important to economic development over time.

* Through technology transfer, universities contribute to the stock of technical knowledge and technologies that firms can draw on for innovation and hence economic growth (Bercovtiz and Feldman, 2006). Also, the growing entrepreneurial activity of American universities is connected to another trend - an intensifying of the links between research and innovation (Hicks, Olivastro, and Hamilton, 2001). Thus, it is important that universities continue to develop their technology transfer practices along with their research activities and that government policy supports universities becoming inore entrepreneurial.

In order to facilitate future technology transfer success and continued economic growth and competitiveness, several changes must occur. First, Universities will have to overcome barriers to technology transfer. These include informational and cultural barriers such as insufficient rewards for university researchers, university-industry culture clashes, bureaucratic inflexibility, unskilled and understaffed TTOS lack of entrepreneurial talent throughout the university, the perception of declining federal R&D support. and the concern that university-industry cooperation will interfere with academic freedom, and - arguably - the existence of the traditional linear view of technology transfer itself (Siegel, Waldman and Link, 2003: Lee, 1996; Kirby, 2006; Behrens and Gray, 2001).

Conquering these barriers will require universities to create more incentives for faculty members to engage in entrepreneurial activities, such as rewarding technology transfer in promotion and tenure decisions (Siegel, Waldman and Link, 2003). Faculty should be educated about commercial opportunities.

This would include not only working with their TTO - or other boundary spanning organizations - but also learning projects management and other business practices to ensure successful academic-industry cooperation (Laukkanen, 2003). Personal relationships between scientist and industry contacts should be fostered as they might prove even more important than contractual relationship (Siegel, Waldman, Atwater and Link, 2004).

It is also important that the organizational structure of universities is constructed to facilitate seamless technology transfer activities. An appropriate organizational structure may include a specialized and decentralized TTO with sufficient autonomy to develop relationships with industry, within the context a supportive institutional and policy environment (Debackere and Veugelers, 2005). Universities need better staffing practices for TTOs; TTO staff need marketing, technical and negotiation skills (Siegel, Waldman, Atwater and Link, 2004).

TTO staff must understand the culture and function of the academic enterprise and of the industry sector to put together licensing deals (Powers and McDougall, 2005). A properly organized and staffed TTO can greatly increase the productivity of a university's technology transfer activities. Universities could conceivably pursue organizational options that focus less on intellectual property protection and more on other, more effective means for disseminating and commercializing new technologies.

Conclusion

Business activities of the academic community including students and research workers can be performed as a result of technology transfer of which the University begin to operate on a commercial basis as a seller of certain goods and services such as modern technology . The technology developed at the Manipur University can be tried as a academic entrepreneurship for socio-economic development.


Concluded


* Dr N Irabanta Singh wrote this article for The Sangai Express
The writer is the former Professor (Higher academic grade)/ Life Sciences and former Dean, School of Life Sciences, Manipur University.
This article was webcasted on October 09, 2019.



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