On completion of the first Intellectual Property (IP) Sharing Project on development of Smart Herb Drying Technology and Branding of associated herbal products in collaboration with the Korean Intellectual Property Office (KIPO) and the Korean Invention Promotion Association (KIPA), the Department of Intellectual Property (DoIP), Ministry of Economic Affairs and the local beneficiary partner Menjong Sorig Pharmaceutical Corporation Limited (MSCPL) held a virtual closing ceremony of the project on December 14, 2020.
At the start of the project in the last quarter of 2019, the KIPA’s technology team had in-depth discussions with the MSPCL and DoIP, on the requirements and specifications of a new herb dryer appropriate for the local conditions, i.e. both suitable at the plant and the rural collection sites. Simultaneously, KIPA’s branding team was also engaged with the DoIP and MSPCL, holding discussions on revising corporation’s existing logo for its products and creating new logos for the herbal products and the company. After more than 15 rounds of virtual meetings and analysis of herbal materials by experts, the Korean teams developed 3 new drying machines with major innovations made to the prior art existing in an old drying invention along with a new herb collection management software app and new logos. Additionally, brand promotional materials were also created for MSPCL.
One machine has already arrived in Bhutan and installed in the main Plant and two are still on the way from South Korea. Those will be installed at the rural herb collection sites in Lingshi. The brand promotional materials comprise of a new Trademark for MSPCL’s products, brand promotional video, lab coats, paper carry bags, business cards, envelopes and badges, all emblazoned with the new MSPCL’s logos. The Director General of DoIP officially handed over the brand promotional materials to the CEO, MSPCL during the closing ceremony. The new drier machines, brand logos and allied management and promotional materials will be officially launched in January 2021.
Although this is the first IP Sharing Project with our Korean partners, the DoIP looks forward to participating in similar appropriate technology development and branding projects in the near future as we feel such arrangements are an effective way to transform our local enterprises through increased innovation and leapfrog into emerging high-growth areas of the world economy. This project was one of the two selected through open competition among 13 Developing and Least Developed Countries as per our proposals submitted. DoIP would also explore the possibility of local manufacturing of these dryers for drying other agro products in Bhutan.
The Director General of DoIP graced the closing ceremony as Chief Guest and the session was also marked with a seminar on Herb Drier Development and Branding Strategies for herbal products and consisted of seven related presentations. The virtual seminar provided the participants with presentations on the different stages and elements of the project, including the challenges faced. Around 30 officials from Korea and Bhutan attended the virtual closing ceremony.