By Frank Momoh
The Federal Government through the National Office for Technology Acquisition and Promotion (NOTAP) in her awareness drive on the imperative of Intellectual Property Right (IPR), has commissioned the 56th Intellectual Property and Technology Transfer Office (IPTTO) in Gombe State University.
At the commissioning ceremony, the Director-General of NOTAP, Dr. DanAzumi Ibrahim, said the establishment of IPTTO at the University was to ensure the documentation and processing of inventive and innovative activities in the region for patenting and commercialization.
He described Intellectual Property (IP) as the creation of human intellect, adding that it needs to be protected to enable the creator or the inventor enjoy the financial benefits of their inventions for a period of 20 years.
Ibrahim, acknowledged that Nigeria has a weak intellectual property culture but the introduction of IPTTO in some Nigerian knowledge institutions is to create the awareness on the importance of protecting our IP.
He stressed that inventions and innovations were products of research and researches are conducted in knowledge institutions therefore it was imperative to ensure that university and polytechnic researchers were aware of the benefits that awaits them for engaging in researches that have potential of translating into tangible goods and services.
The DG further stated that for a nation to be recognised in the global technology arena, it must have a vibrant science, technology and innovation system.
The DG noted that no Nigerian university is ranked among the top 100 universities in the world because of weak culture of innovation.
He added that innovations coming from universities in the developed countries translate into goods and services that generate income for such universities.
In his remarks, the Vice Chancellor of Gombe State University, Prof. Aliyu El-Nafaty, said the newly established IPTTO would assist the university community in harnessing the innovative potential in the state to fast-track technology development of the state.
He commended the NOTAP boss for the numerous projects targeted at bridging the gap between the academia and the industry, adding that it will be difficult for innovative activities within the knowledge institutions to strive if the industries are not collaborating with the academia.
He further stated that the industries are the major consumers of research and development (R&D) result therefore there must be collaboration between the two for effective development of the country.
According to the VC, there were so many indigenous inventors and innovators within and outside the university community within the state that requires clear direction on how their innovations could benefit them, adding that with the establishment of the office, the university will collaborate with them to ensure that their inventions are patented and commercialized.
He however regretted that prior to now, the university had lost a lot because there was no deliberate attempt to collate and promote the various innovative activities occasioned by weak knowledge of the benefits accruing from intellectual property protection.
In her goodwill message, the Commissioner for Science, Technology and Innovation, Gombe State who was acknowledged as being the brain behind the location of the office at Gombe State University, Dr. Aisha Maigari, said the office would provide an opportunity for researchers to excel.
She said that a lot of artisans and professionals have engaged in various innovative activities but they needed to be guided properly on the kind of research that will be beneficial to them and the larger society.
She added that the establishment of IPTTO will streamline their research undertakings to engaging in market driven research as against conventional research.
She, said: “Going forward as a ministry, we are going to have a data bank of our innovators and inventors within the state to ensure that they are properly guided in their research undertaken in order to engage in researches that will transform into goods and services for the benefit of the citizenry.”
According to her, a lot of artisans and professionals have engaged in various innovative activities but they needed to be guided properly on the kind of research that will be beneficial to them and the larger society, adding, that the establishment of IPTTO will streamline their research undertakings to engaging in market driven research as against conventional research.
She therefore expressed appreciation to the Director General for the support and pleaded for continuous support and collaboration whenever the opportunity calls