The Federal Government has presented patent certificates to 19 researchers for their various inventions and innovations to address societal challenges and facilitate economic development.
Speaking during the ceremony organised by the National Office for Technology Acquisition and Promotion (NOTAP) in Abuja, the Minister of Science, Technology and Innovation, Sen. Adeleke Mamora said intellectual property in the area of technological innovation has become the basis of the international power structure today.
The minister said the speedy industrialisation of the country and its economic growth depend largely on the efforts of researchers should be conversant with intellectual property issues.
“I wish to emphasise that this is just the first step in reaping the economic benefit of your inventions. The nation can only derive maximum benefit from your efforts if your patents translate into products/services for economic growth. It is not over when your patents enter the market,” he reasoned.
Mamora praised NOTAP for delivering on its mandate by providing an efficient process for the acquisition and domestication of foreign technologies. He further urged beneficiaries to create an impact for the FG’s Economic Sustainability Plan where research results were translated to production activities and create jobs for youth.
Earlier in his welcome address, the director-general of NOTAP, Dr. DanAzumi Ibrahim highlighted that the patent certificates were secured for the inventors and innovators who, through their research undertakings, have developed patentable research results.
According to him, researchers across the globe strive for patentable research and development (R&D) results capable of attracting venture capitalists and subsequent licensing for commercialisation and achieving economic benefits.
Ibrahim recalled that to strengthen the weak intellectual property culture and encourage IP awareness in Nigeria, NOTAP in collaboration with WIPO in 2006, established intellectual property and technology transfer offices (IPTTOs) in some knowledge establishments in the country.
He noted that the establishment of IPTTOs in the universities, polytechnic and research institutions was to create awareness of the importance of IP and IPR to the economic growth of the country.
“The IPTTOs were established and equipped with information technology facilities to support researchers and to conduct searches on patents that are already in the public domain for exploitation and purposes of acquiring knowledge. The photos also provide them with guidance on the processes for patenting inventions. Currently, NOTAP has established 62 functional intellectual property and technology transfer offices across Nigerian knowledge institutions to establish more.
“In its quest to fast-track the processes of patenting an invention in Nigeria, NOTAP went into partnership with the patent and design registry, commercial law department of the Federal Ministry of Industry, Trade and Investment, an agency that has the responsibility of patenting inventions and innovations in Nigeria,
“However, in the course of discharging its responsibilities of encouraging the development of indigenous technologies, NOTAP noted the weak intellectual property culture in the Nigerian knowledge system.
“This observation facilitated the synergy with the registry to create IP awareness in the country. Through its patent support services, the office assisted Nigerian researchers in processing and filing their claims at no cost as the Office pays the patenting fees,” he said.
Ibrahim observed that, since the inception of this intervention in 2006, NOTAP has assisted Nigerian inventors in securing 393 patent certificates.
The innovations which received the patent awards ranged from renewable energy to military hardware and election monitoring inventions while the benefitting institutions included the research and development arms of the University of Ilorin, Nigerian Airforce, Ekiti State University, Yaba College of Technology and Scientific Development Institute.