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BHEL R&D unit gets aggressive on patents

Our Bureau

HYDERABAD, April 12

THE Corporate Research & Development (R&D) division of Bharat Heavy Electricals Ltd (BHEL) has decided to step up its efforts to file patents on several developments aimed at protecting the in-house intellectual property.

Addressing the annual press conference here on Thursday, its General Manager, Mr S. Balagurunathan, said several efforts were being initiated for filing patents to prevent the infringing of BHEL's technology and also to check the launch of identical products, systems and processes by the competitors.

BHEL had filed 13 patents during the last fiscal ended March 31, 2002 as against 18 patents filed in the previous year.

It filed two patents each in the US, Russia, Brazil, Iran and Turkey and one copyright during the last fiscal. In total, BHEL held 301 patents as on March 31, 2002.

Owing to general recession in both the domestic and global markets, the commercialisation centre of BHEL had to suffer a slight fall in its turnover, though it could register a growth in profit-before-tax during the last fiscal. The turnover stood at Rs 634 lakh as against Rs 652 lakh in the previous year and recorded a cash collection of Rs 702 lakh (Rs 659 lakh) and a profit-before-tax of Rs 150 lakh (Rs 125 lakh). As on April 1, 2001, BHEL had orders worth Rs 585 lakh on hand.

In a move to aggressively market its technological developments, BHEL made a good beginning during last year by setting up a separate marketing department.

This department has been working on bagging orders directly from the customers, while supplementing the orders received through BHEL's sister units across the country.

"For the Corporate R&D department, the year 2001-02 marked the completion of several projects, which were aimed at making a significant impact on the market appeal of the company's products, systems and processes," Mr Balagurunathan said.

Some of the significant projects completed during the year include the country's first controlled shunt reactor set up at Itarsi switching station of Power Grid Corporation of India in Madhya Pradesh, static synchronous compensator (STATCOM) installed in the substation at Corporate R&D and design and development of a prototype of sulphur hexaflouride gas insulated bus duct.

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