By Obas Esiedesa
The Director General of the National Office for Technology Acquisition and Promotion (NOTAP), Dr DanAzumi Ibrahim has urged researchers and technology developers to prioritize the protection of their intellectual property.
Dr Ibrahim stated this on Tuesday in Abuja during a training session for Intellectual Property and Technology Transfer Offices (IPTTO) Coordinators on automated submission of patent application to NOTAP.
He noted that while there has been significant increase in the applications for intellectual property rights, a lot still needs to be done to create awareness among researchers.
He harped on the importance of developing new technologies for the country, saying no nation can termed developed until it has the capacity for research and development.
He told the participants drawn from universities and research institutions across the country that “nation are determined developed because of their technological advancement. Research and development is key in this. No any nation will develop without a vibrant research and development culture”.
He noted that developed nations have perfected how research results are translated into products and services but “unfortunately in this country most of our research and development efforts are still on the shelves. Those that were able to translate into prototypes remain as prototypes”.
Dr Ibrahim explained that “as long as the prototypes do not move to the next level (industrial production), the effort of the research and development may not have any significant effect on our economic development”.
He stressed that Nigeria’s economic development is depended on the number of new technologies developed by Nigerian researchers, urging researchers to “come up with technologies that will power the national economy”.
He explained that NOTAP registers technology agreements and if it “gives approval for 10 applications today at least 6-7 are on software and I have seen the quantum of money that leaves this country as licensing fees. It is with pain that we give these kinds of approvals but we cannot as a nation that is aspiring to be economically independent fold our arms and allow business as usual”.
He added that NOTAP is determined to change the weak Intellectual Property culture in Nigeria because the private sector will not invest in the mass production of research and development results unless the intellectual property rights are protected.
He therefore charged researchers to apply for intellectual property rights first before the outcome of the researches are published.
He said the training was organized for the Intellectual Property and Technology Transfer Offices (IPTTO) Coordinators to equip them with the capacity to do their jobs more effectively, especially in using the interactive platform created by NOTAP.
The NOTAP boss expressed optimism that the platform would push the Coordinators to work harder and boost the number of applications for patents in the country.