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Intellectual Property: NOTAP Moves to Establish Offices in Universities, Others

…To evaluate, rank all intellectual property offices nationwide

By Mohammed Mohammed

The Director General of the National Office for Technology Acquisition and Promotion (NOTAP), Dr. DanAzumi Mohammed Ibrahim, has stated that arrangement has been concluded to establish Intellectual Property and Technology Transfer Offices in all Nigerian Universities, Polytechnics and Research Institutions.

He said the Office is undertaking the project to further deepen the importance of intellectual property rights as catalyst for wealth creation and empowerment, adding that finance has been a constraint.

The DG, explained that the world economy is driven and sustained by knowledge therefore as a regulatory agency saddled with the responsibility of regulating the inflow of foreign technologies through the registration of technology transfer agreements, NOTAP is aware of the huge amount of money expended on importation of foreign technologies, hence the need to encourage the development of local capacities through IPTTOs.

In order to encourage demand-driven research and launch Nigeria into the comity of technologically independent nations, he stressed that NOTAP is set to commence ranking of Intellectual Property and Technology Transfer Offices (IPTTOs) across the country.

He said the establishment of IPTTOs in the Nigerian knowledge institutions across the geopolitical zones of the country was an initiative of NOTAP in collaboration with the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), a United Nations agency based in Geneva, Switzerland.

He said the IPTTO initiative was to sensitize the Nigerian knowledge institutions, innovators and researchers on the importance of Intellectual Property Right (IPR) as well as the need to engage in market driven research as against conventional research.

According to him, the programme started in 2006 with the establishment of 6 centers and has progressed both in number and quality to 60 IPTTOs across the Country.

The DG however noted that the world economy is driven and sustained by knowledge therefore as a regulatory agency saddled with the responsibility of regulating the inflow of foreign technologies through the registration of technology transfer agreements, NOTAP is aware of the huge amount of money expended on importation of foreign technologies, hence the need to encourage the development of local capacities through IPTTOs.

The CEO revealed that after close to two decades of the initiative, there was need to start evaluation and ranking of the IPTTOs for the purposes of ascertaining the viability or otherwise of some of the centers. He encouraged the coordinators to always report their breakthroughs as well as challenges to NOTAP for proper analysis and diagnosis of the issues for a better output.

He noted that there was disconnect between the academia and industry which according to him, the establishment of IPTTO will bridge/resolve to ensure that Nigerian researchers engaged in industrial needs research for their benefits as well as for the benefits of mankind.

Ibrahim promised to assist in further training of any institution that requires training to ensure that they have a better understanding of the importance of intellectual property to the economic sustainability of the country. 

In her presentation on the IPTTO ranking, the Director Technology Acquisition and Research Coordination (TA RC) department of NOTAP, Mrs. Carol Anie-Osuagwu, said that the ranking had become necessary owing to the fact that some centers are performing well while much haven’t been heard of some.

She said that the importance of IPTTO to the advancement of Science, Technology and Innovation (STI) in Nigerian cannot be overemphasized therefore all coordinators should strive to ensure that the staff and students of their institutions are fully aware of the enormous potential benefits derivable from the programme.

The Director stated that Nigerian researchers are yet to benefit maximally from their research undertakings, adding that the establishment of the IPTTOs was to encourage researchers to patent their research and development (R&D) results before publishing, adding that any invention that is not patented is vulnerable to infringement. 

Osuagwu, revealed that there will be prize money for the best, first and second runners-up IPTTOs as a way of motivating them as well as encouraging centers that are not performing up to expectation to wake up.

She further stated that the criteria for ranking shall comprise of visibility of the centre within the institution, documentation of institutional R&D results, and institutional intellectual property policy in place among other.

Mr. Raymond Onyenezi Ogbu, of the Press and Public Affairs sent the piece

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