UNH Law’s International Technology Transfer Institute Advancing Innovation in Argentina
This fall, the University of New Hampshire School of Law’s International Technology Transfer Institute (ITTI) travelled to Argentina to conduct education and training sessions with the Argentine government agency that directs and coordinates most of the scientific and technical research done in universities and institutes, the National Scientific and Technical Research Council, (Spanish acronym: CONICET).
This trip was the continuation of a two-year program jointly facilitated by UNH Law’s Franklin Pierce Center for Intellectual Property and CONICET. In September 2010, Professors Stanley Kowalski, Karen Hersey, John Orcutt and Jon Cavicchi participated in a similar set of workshops and presentations with CONICET in Argentina.
The sessions, conducted in Buenos Aires and Rosario by Dr. Kowalski, ITTI’s director, and Kim Rosenfield, general counsel of the State University of New York Research Foundation, sought to educate the next generation of intellectual property professionals. Kowalski and Rosenfield presented on institutional policies and administrative practices; legal basis for the transfer of technology; licensing; patent database mining; genetic resources, biodiversity and traditional knowledge; and they conducted a mediation workshop. Participants included a broad spectrum of Argentine professionals, including lawyers, technology transfer officers, administrators, scientists and information specialists.
“The workshops on intellectual property management and technology transfer, with ITTI’s great way to convey basic concepts and ways of action, is of great profit for us and for the students,” said Dr. Faustino Siñeriz, vice president of CONICET. He added: ITTI is “helping greatly to shape our Department of Property Transfer and Assets of CONICET and other institutions in Argentina, including INTA (National Institute for Agricultural Technology).”
Siñeriz's colleague echoed his sentiments. “As director of the Technology Transfer Office of CONICET, the most important scientific institution in Argentina, I am proud and honor to say that the activities done during the past two years with ITTI created an impact on the capabilities and skills of all the agents of the office,” said Santiago Villa, whose ties to UNH Law as an alumnus of its International Property Summer Institute helped to bring the two institutions together for this project. “Perhaps the most important result of this experience has been the relations built between the people behind the institutions, creating a creative and confident environment that allowed a deep and productive interaction. We are now working on the next steps of this productive collaboration between the institutions.”
Another ITTI project this fall involved Argentina: Its clinic, led by Professors Cavicchi and Kowalski, conducted a research project on Chagas disease vaccines and diagnostics. The disease affects 10 million people worldwide and is centered in Latin America. Northern Argentina has particularly high infection rates. There is no vaccine for Chagas disease.
The goal of the ITTI Clinic’s patent landscape team was to assemble and analyze a detailed, global overview of patent information pertinent to Chagas disease vaccine and diagnostic technologies. The student team, composed of both JD and graduate students, included Josiah Barbour, Kumar Bhushan, Jacki Lin, Sarita Pickett, Spoorthy Gudavalli, Ernest Kawka, Sanjana Mangalagiri, Aarushi Gupta and Manuel Godoy Luque, an exchange student from Argentina’s Universidad Austral in Buenos Aires.