Bio-Innovation Policy
(Bio Intellectual Property Course) Recruiting students for the academic year 2018

Assosiate Professor Shingo KANO
E-mail: kano{at}


【Key Words】innovation policy, intellectual property, entrepreneur edcation


 The aim of Bio Intellectual Property(Bio-IP)Course is to help students develop a strong conceptual foundation for managing technological innovations & inventions,especially understanding the differences between scientific papers and patents. It introduces concepts and frameworks for analyzing how researchers convert scientific achievements to patentable knowledge, identify invention and capture value from basic research especially in the life science arena
High-tech innovation itself is becoming more complex and life science is a major field that basic research outcomes in academic are the major source of innovation and have also difficulties to utilize its outcomes efficiently. To bridge academic and industry, researchers should also understand industry ecosystems, value chain and interests of different type of entities including university’s TLOs, investors like venture capital, university spin offs companies, non-profit organization and big corporations.
In this context, Bio-IP course has two missions, one is to provide educational programs regarding intellectual property which is focus on life science to the faculty’s students and members,and the other is to conduct research on innovation around the intellectual property and life science as a social science activity to improve the national system of innovation including university patenting,corporate strategy and government policy.

2.Educational Programs for life science researchers

 Bio-IP course provides four classes for students who want to understand intellectual property from the scratch. Two are for upstream and two for downstream of industrializing knowledge.
 The upstream parts are introduction of intellectual property including basic knowledge of patent and how to describe the patent application with effective claims. Topics covered include (1)introduction of typical university patents in the life science field,(2)differences between scientific papers and patent claims, (3)legal requirements and procedures to file the patents (4)training of drafting a patent using typical cases.
 The downstream parts are the entrepreneur education programs for life science researchers and the objective is to learn how science and industry interact each other. Starting from the business model analysis using various analytical frameworks, the lecturer will provide multi-level analysis including product-level, corporate-level and industry-level for the design of pharmaceutical industry, regenerative medicine, personalized medicine and fermentation industry to learn total value chain of the industry. The students should also take classes if the students want to learn more about commercializing technology, how to manage innovation within a corporation,or how to protect an invention you might want to commercialize. The concepts and analytical frameworks are useful and relevant when you need to deal with rapid changes in the technological environment, intellectual property, organizational knowledge, and knowledge professionals. Although the readings may present a certain level of technical knowledge, the focus is on management issues rather than specific details of any particular technology. The classes are not lectures on life science, although some of our examples come from the life science industry.It covers the process of identifying and quantifying market opportunities,then conceptualizing,planning,and starting a new, technology-based enterprise. Topics include opportunity assessment, the value proposition, the entrepreneur, legal issues, the business plan, the founding team, seeking customers and raising funds. Students develop detailed business plans for a start-up. Topics covered include (1) technological change and how it affects competition between new and existing firms,(2)strategies for firms competing in high-technology industries,(3)how to create and manage an innovative organization and (4) entrepreneurship and venture capital.

3. Innovation Studies

 We are now focusing on three domains in innovation research as a social science activity. Students could set their own topics in these domains.
(1) IP Strategy in life science
 IP Strategy is the key for knowledge transfer from university to industry and we have handled research topics that were not treated empirically before and prove the strategic concept. For example, DNA Chip, PCR were typical samples of breakthrough technology and formed the broad patent portfolios. Through analysis of these big patent families, we identified the origins of initial concept, the concept of patent claim and process to be patents, and then extracted how breakthrough inventions should be treated and interpreted from the view point of patent strategy.
 The other topics are related to the life cycle management of drugs which become important for pharmaceutical industry.
(2) Innovation Research in medical field
 Measurement of R&D activity in university and industry is one of the main filed in innovation research. Using patent data base (patent metrics), bibliometric approach and other sources with statistical methods, we are measuring corporate activities in the medical field including regenerative medicine, personalized medicine, medical equipments & instruments. Topics were varied and for example,we conducted the comparison between existing company and startups in the capsule endoscopy filed using origin analysis and social network analysis,the measurement of corporate capability in personalized medicine, the measurement of innovation using the change of patent classification.
(3)Science Policy and National Innovation System
 We are treating new topics in science policy to adapt emerging issues. How regulation should be adapted innovation in life science is the basic question and we think regenerative medicine and personalized medicine are fit for this question. University-Industry relationships are still hot issues and we constructed analytical framework, “technology transfer effective frontier,”to evaluate the relationships between tech transfer from existing firms and core competence of firms. Other emerging issues are developing new metrics for science policies and we apply“grant-metrics”to the bioinformatics field.


The University of Tokyo
Graduate School of Frontier Sciences, The University of Tokyo

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