NOTAP advocates for a robust IP policy in Nigeria’s knowledge institutions
Dr. DanAzumi Ibrahim, Director General of the National Office for Technology Acquisition and Promotion (NOTAP) has advised universities to develop a comprehensive IP policy in order to strengthen the operations of Intellectual Property and Technology Transfer Offices (IPTTO) and avoid problems associated with ownership of Intellectual Property (IP) between the Institutions and Researchers in Nigerian Universities.
He gave this advice during the commissioning of Intellectual Property and Technology Transfer Office (IPTTO), in Ebonyi State University Abakaliki, Ebonyi State.
The DG who was represented by the Director, Consultancy Services department, Mr. Adamu Tandama, said, a well scripted and comprehensive IPTTO policy was necessary to guide the Universities in clearly spelling out the ownership of IP.
Dr. Ibrahim said NOTAP in carrying out the Registration of Technology Transfer Agreements, which is one of its major mandates, realized that there was a very weak Intellectual Property culture in Nigeria especially within knowledge Institutions.
According to him, this situation has resulted in poor technology development of the country but that the establishment of IPTTOs in Knowledge Institutions has the capacity to trigger innovative activities in the Country.
The DG said over 90% of technologies that powers the Nigerian economy are foreign and for a nation that is striving to be amongst the 20 strongest economies in the world, the knowledge institutions should be more innovative to turn out Research and Development (R&D) results that can solve industrial needs.
He noted that for a country to develop technologically, the knowledge institutions must be abreast of the global technology needs, adding that there should be a strong and strategic linkage between the Industry and the academia for this to happen.
Dr. Ibrahim reiterated that technologies are outputs of inventive and innovative activities and research is the primary function of the knowledge institutions but while the multinationals operating in the country depend on their mother companies for research works, Nigerian knowledge institutions carry out research for career progression and not to solve problems of the Industry.
He further stated that IPTTO is exposing the researchers to engage in research that will solve human needs and not just for academic and career progression, adding that in developed countries, there is strong linkage between the academia and industry as industry depends largely on the knowledge institutions to solve their problems.
He revealed that Nigeria has the largest knowledge infrastructure in the West African sub-region with over 156 Universities, 126 Polytechnics, 98 Colleges of education and more than 300 research institutions but is yet to give the world any global products from their researches.
He therefore challenged the University to properly utilize the IPTTO to ensure that patents that will emanate will metamorphous into commercializable products and services.
He further emphasized that if IPTTOs are properly utilized; Nigerian Universities will no longer depend on Government budgetary allocation but will begin to benefit from royalties through licensing of its Intellectual Property (IP).
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