ICAR established a three-tier intellectual property (IP) management system in 2006 to manage the intellectual assets, whereby each institute is equipped with knowledge, manpower and freedom of decision, which is governed by its "Guidelines for Intellectual Property Management and Technology Transfer/ Commercialization" (ICAR 2006- which is again revised in 2018). To institutionalize this system, ICAR had also launched a scheme in its XI plan budget, which completed 5 years in 2012. Under this system, Institute Technology Management Units (ITMUs) headed by scientific personnel, were formed at all ICAR institutes. To facilitate these ITMUs, five Zonal Technology Management Centres (ZTMCs) were opened in different zones for technology protection, promotion and commercialization. At central level, Intellectual Property and Technology Management (IP&TM) Unit is leading this system by providing budget, technical support in case to case basis and assistance for IP related legal issues. Based on the encouraging lessons learnt during the XI Plan, the scope in the proposed XII Plan scheme is considerably enhanced.
The enhanced scope is thus given the new name, 'National Agriculture Innovation Fund' with two components viz. Component I: Innovation Fund (the XI Plan Scheme of Intellectual Property Management and Transfer/ Commercialization of Agricultural Technologies); and Component II: Incubation Fund (Supporting Agri-business Incubation Centres in institutions developing agricultural technologies).
ICAR institutes are using different IP tools to protect their intellectual assets viz. patents, trademarks, copyrights and designs. To compile these assets in a scientific manner with its regular updation at inventor level, a workflow based repository for Patents obtained/in process is made available for researchers/ policymakers.