ABUJA – Director-General of the National Office for Technology Acquisition and Promotion (NOTAP), Dr DanAzumi Mohammed Ibrahim, has expressed regret that no Nigerian University is ranked among the top 100 universities in the world.
He, however, linked poor performance to low innovative activities from the institutions.
Ibrahim stated this at the presentation of patent certificates to 19 Nigerian inventors and innovators by the Minister of Science, Technology, and Innovation, Dr Adeleke Olurunmibe Mamora, Thursday in Abuja.
Noting that inventions and innovations have become major criteria for the global ranking index of knowledge system, the NOTAP DG said: “It is indeed regrettable that no Nigerian University is ranked among the top 100 universities in the world due to low innovative activities from our knowledge establishments.
“I, therefore, challenge Nigerian researchers to take advantage of the opportunity offered by NOTAP to patent their inventions free of charge and enjoy the economic benefits accruing from licensing of their inventions.”
He noted 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 that are capable of attracting venture capitalists and subsequent licensing for commercialization and achieving economic benefits.
Ibrahim recalled that in order 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.
Ibrahim added: “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 of inventions. Currently, NOTAP has established 62 functional Intellectual Property and Technology Transfer Offices across Nigerian knowledge institutions with the intention of establishing 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, NOTAP in the course of discharging one of its responsibilities of encouraging the development of indigenous technologies 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.”
Ibrahim observed that since the inception of this intervention in 2006, NOTAP has assisted Nigerian inventors in securing
393 patent Certificates.
Mamora while presenting the certificates, maintained that intellectual property in the area of technological innovation has today become the basis of the international power structure.
The minister said the speedy industrialization of the country and its economic growth depends largely on the efforts of researchers, noting that innovation system managers should be conversant with Intellectual Property issues.
“I equally wish to emphasize 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 with your patents enter the market”, he added.