Together with 7 universities in Southeast Asia and 4 European universities, the Mindanao State University at Naawan benefits from the Erasmus Project entitled Strategic IP Management for effective R & I in Asian Higher Education/SPIRE coordinated by the Universiti Teknologi Malaysia with funding from the European Union. The project is designed to achieve the following objectives: 1) To strengthen knowledge and skills of personnel of the partner HEIs for the implementation of consistent IP strategies and provision of comprehensive IP services at the institutional and local levels; 2) To establish IP management units (IPMUs) as centralized services for providing IP-related assistance to the university communities and local businesses; 3) To set up an IP Regional Network for HEIs as a specialized forum of professional to pool IP related resources, and foster national and regional debate. Overall, SPIRE aims to contribute to the effectiveness of Research and Innovation management of the higher education Institutions by enhancing Intellectual Property (IP) capacities. These objectives are translated into three strands, namely: capacity building, infrastructure in the form of IP management units and policies, and a sustainability mechanism through a regional network. The project had its kick-off meeting in UTM Kuala Lumpur Campus on May 11-12, 2017. As a partner-beneficiary, MSU Naawan has sent its faculty and staff to the various capacity building activities of the project. A visit and management meeting in Masaryk University in Brno, Czech Republic and Bologna University in Italy in September 14-16, 2017 was attended by 4 MSUN personnel. Four series of trainings are designed to capacitate the higher education institutions. The first was a training on IP Management in HEIs that was held in ITS Surabaya, Indonesia on November 26-29, 2017 and facilitated by representatives from Agora Institute of Spain. On March 5-9, 2018, the project conducted a training on Technology Transfer Management in Bangkok, Thailand hosted by Chulalongkorn University and facilitated by partners from the University of Turku in Finland. Another training on Research and Technology Management is set to be conducted by partners from the University of Turku in Turku, Finland to be held in the same university on May 20-26, 2018 and one more training on Patent Management in Burapha University in Thailand on July 16-20, 2018, to be facilitated by partners from University of Bologna in Italy. The project has allotted three slots for personnel from MSUN in each of these trainings on capacity building.
The Campus is gearing up to establish an IPMU unit as part of its commitment to the project. A team has already been created, through a Special Order from the Office of the Chancellor, to define the organization and functions of the unit, initially called the Knowledge and Technology Transfer Office of MSU-Naawan (KTTON). A strategic planning session is scheduled for the team, to advance the objectives of the project. A seminar on IP Management will be conducted in the Campus, envisioned to be participated in by all campuses of the MSU System and other higher education institutions in Mindanao. The road is uphill because, among others, IP/commercialization/business is a new culture in many universities and scientists are not aggressive in marketing themselves and their products. The SPIRE project could mean a paradigm shift from the usual publication track.
SPIRE project is coordinated by Dr. Fauzan Khairi Che Harun of the Universiti Teknologi Malaysia Johor Bahru and Dr. Nizar Ayadi of Agora Institute for Knowledge Management in Spain.