‘How weak IP culture kills technology development’

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By Emmanuel Elebeke

THE country’s technology development will gain faster traction if something is urgently done to strengthen the weak Intellectual Property culture, prevalent in the ecosystem today.

Experts say weak IP culture, especially in the knowledge industry is hampering technology development in the country.

That could be why the Director General of the National Office for Technology Acquisition and Promotion (NOTAP), Dr. DanAzumi Mohammed Ibrahim, at the commissioning of Intellectual Property and Technology Transfer Offices (IPTTO’S)  in the University of Lagos recently, said the country would record faster growth if some of the weak institutions are supported with fresh strategies and innovative ideas.

Ibrahim said the establishment of Intellectual Property and Technology Transfer Offices, IPTTOs will trigger and facilitate innovative activities, adding that IPTTO’S are veritable instruments established to refocus the minds of Nigerian researchers from undertaking research as mere academic exercise to engaging in market and demand-driven research.

The DG said over 90 percent of the technology that powers the Nigerian economies are foreign and for a country that is striving to be among the 20 strongest economies in the world, the knowledge institutions should be more innovative to turn out research and development results that can solve industrial needs.

For the country to develop technologically, he averred that knowledge institution must be abreast of the global technology needs, adding that for this to happen, there should be a strong linkage between the Industry and the academia.

He reiterated that technologies are results of inventive and innovative activities which are primary functions of the knowledge institution and while the multinationals operating in the country depend on their mother companies for research works, Nigerian knowledge institutions carry out research for carry progression and not solving the problems of the Industry.

He disclosed that IPPTO is exposing the researchers to researches that will solve human needs and not just for academic and career progression. He said that University of Lagos is in a vantage position to maximize the benefits of IPTTO being the commercial hub of the country but advised that every research finding should be patented before publishing to avoiding loosing the invention.

He challenged the universities to properly utilize the IPTTO to ensure that chunk out patents that will metamorphous into commercializable products and services, adding that if the IPTTO is properly utilized, the University will no longer depend on government budgetary allocation but will begin to enjoy royalties from licensing of its intellectual property.

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