NIF has a large database of over 211,600 ideas, innovations and traditional knowledge, including proprietary, open source and common public knowledge. While the percentage of proprietary traditional knowledge (individual or community) and innovations where NIF has filed patents in the names of the individuals or communities is quite low, much knowledge is available (common or open source), which can be disseminated without any IP considerations. Social diffusion in NIF's case may be differentiated by the commonly understood usage of social diffusion as the study of diffusion of ideas and innovations in the society. Many innovations available with NIF may not have the potential of widespread commercialization but can enhance social wealth, improve people's lifestyles and facilitate sustainable alternatives for development. Such technologies are called open source technologies, which anybody can adopt as per his/her need without any payment. In many cases, innovators have also generously declared their innovations open source so that society at large can benefit from them. NIF has also operationalised Grassroots Technological Innovations Acquisition Fund (GTIAF) wherein it intends to acquire rights of useful grassroots technologies from innovators after paying an upfront fee and disseminate/diffuse it at low cost or no cost to other innovators, fabricators, farmers or entrepreneurs across the country for societal good. The Dissemination and Social Diffusion (DSD) department works in close coordination with the S&D and IT departments. The specific tasks undertaken to further dissemination activities include coordination of publication activities of NIF online as well as in print and developing content for newsletters, books, compendiums, posters, CDs, kiosks, websites etc. NIF also participates in workshops, seminars, exhibitions and various events like India International Trade Fair, Indian Science Congress for the purpose. It also facilitates demonstration of technologies for their possible uptake by relevant stake holders. Establishing linkages with other institutions and networks for dissemination is also one of the important activities of NIF.
The fund was envisioned to allow NIF to acquire the rights of technologies from the innovators generating public goods, which NIF can then make open source. Some of them can be pooled and blended to form new products, which can then be licensed to small entrepreneurs so that large number of such entrepreneurs can take up the products and take them to localized market. This will promote decentralized production since cost of supply chain market will be huge. Further, in some ideas/innovations, conventional supply chain will be of use and in such cases NIF may involve business groups. Ultimately, technology acquisition fund will prevent people from wait for years for getting their first return out of their unique knowledge. Read More