The Vice Chancellor of Alex Ekwueme Federal University Ndufu-Alike, Ikwo (FUNAI), Ebonyi State, Prof. Sunday Elom, has commended the National Office for Technology Acquisition and Promotion (NOTAP) for its role in creating Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) awareness in Nigerian higher institutions.
The university don gave the commendation during the commissioning of NOTAP’s Intellectual Property and Technology Transfer Office (IPTTO) established in AE-FUNAI.
He said that the commissioning of IPTTO in the institution was a clear demonstration of commitment by the agency’s management and the Federal Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation to stimulate innovative activities in the university.
Elon said as a university, the school was irrevocably committed to academic excellence benchmarked on research and development (R&D) activities, adding that it was the desire of his administration to encourage and promote product-driven research geared towards providing solutions to societal challenges.
The VC used the opportunity to express appreciation to the Honourable Minister of Science, Technology and Innovation, Dr. Ogbonnaya Onu, for supporting the collaboration between the university and NOTAP which he said gave birth to the establishment of IPTTO in the institute, in addition to the upgrading of the Chemical Engineering Laboratory.
He, however, expressed hope that lecturers, researchers, inventors and innovators within the university environment and the southeast will benefit from the office in dealing with issues of copyrights and patents as regards their research and innovative ideas in a seamless manner.
Earlier, in his opening remarks, the director-general of NOTAP, Dr. DanAzumi Ibrahim, who was represented by the director, corporate planning department, NOTAP, Mrs. Idoreyin Imiyoho, said that the agency was established to regulate the inflow of foreign technology into the country and promote indigenous technologies.
The DG said that Nigeria’s weak intellectual property (IP) culture and the establishment of IPTTOs across Nigerian knowledge institutions will improve [the culture]. He added that knowledge institutions are the hub for inventive and innovative activities; therefore, there was need to create awareness on the importance of IP to the socio-economic advancement of the nation.
Ibrahim stated that what distinguishes developed from developing countries was the quality of goods and services emanating from their research. He added that the strength of nations was no longer measured by the amount of mineral resources but the level of human capital development. He urged researchers to engage more in demand-driven research to attract venture capitalists rather than conventional research for the purposes of career progression.
The NOTAP boss noted that the global ranking of universities was based on the level of research outputs of such institutions and not necessarily the number of publications, adding that while it was important to share ideas through publications, researchers should prioritise patent of their inventions before publishing, so as to reap financial benefits.
He called for synergy between the academia and the industry, noting that research and development results can hardly metamorphose into goods and services without collaboration between both bodies.
A statement signed by Raymond Ogbu on behalf of the agency’s head of press, reiterated that a lot of innovative activities in the knowledge industry end up on the shelves at prototype level, due to insufficient awareness of the research works in the knowledge industry, adding that over dependence on imported raw materials by industries, among others culminate in the nation’s underdevelopment.