About HIPAMSIndia

Intangible cultural heritage (ICH) practices, such as craft, dance, musical performance, storytelling, and painting, give communities a sense of identity and belonging. The sale of products created by ICH practice can also create jobs and income. However, many communities in developing countries like India experience significant difficulty preventing the appropriation of their heritage by others, for example through mechanisation of production methods. Conventional intellectual property (IP) rights, such as copyright, patents and design protection, offer limited protection to the authors of original creations or new inventions that cannot easily be used to protect cultural expressions whose authors are unknown, and which have been passed down through the generations, changing and adapting to new contexts. This project engages with three Indian ICH practices - Baul and Fakiri music, Chau dance and Patachitra tradition to investigate how developing 'heritage-sensitive' IP protection strategies can give communities greater control over the commercialisation of their heritage while contributing to its safeguarding and on-going viability.


  1. Assess the impact of Contact Base's AFL strategies on socio-economic development and ICH safeguarding in the identified communities and on market outreach.
  2. Co-create effective, replicable and scalable HIPAMS for use by these communities, based on this review process and research on similar case studies in other contexts.
  3. Consider the impact of implementing these HIPAMS on socio-economic development and ICH safeguarding and market penetration.
  4. Disseminate the findings in co-authored academic publications incorporating case studies from the project.
  5. Translate research findings into policy briefs and workshop tools.

The project aims thereby to contribute to the sustainable development goals of Agenda 2030 by helping to build sustainable communities, protect and safeguard cultural heritage, enhance wellbeing, address income inequalities, promote economic empowerment (of women), and reduce poverty.


This research project, Heritage Sensitive Intellectual Property and Marketing strategies: India (HIPAMS - INDIA), is funded by the British Academy's Sustainable Development Programme, supported under the UK Government's Global Challenges Research Fund 2018-2021.