The Director General of the National Office for Technology Acquisition and Promotion (NOTAP), Dr DanAzumi Mohammed Ibrahim has said that the Intellectual Property and Technology Transfer Offices IPTTOs established in various knowledge institutions across the Country are capable of turning the Country into an industrialised nation if vigorously implemented.
Speaking at the commissioning ceremony of IPTTO established by NOTAP at the Federal University Dutse, Jigawa State recently, the DG said that nations are rated by human capital development and no longer by mineral resources, hence NOTAP has embarked on an Intellectual Property awareness campaign through the establishment of IPTTOs to ensure that Nigerian researchers are well guided on their research undertakings for the benefit of the society.
He said that NOTAP was established to regulate the inflow of foreign technologies into the Country through the Registration of Technology Transfer Agreements but also has the responsibility to encourage the development of indigenous technologies.
The DG said that the programme was initiated by NOTAP in 2006 in collaboration with the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) to encourage Intellectual Property (IP) culture and ensure that critical and demand-driven researchers that can dovetail into commercializable inventions and innovations are carried out.
The DG stated that the establishment of IPTTOs in our knowledge institutions was necessitated by the urgent need to move the nation from a consumption to a production nation through optimal harnessing and utilization of indigenous skills. He added that in carrying out its statutory responsibilities, the Office realised that the culture of intellectual property in Nigerian knowledge institutions was weak and for a nation that is striving to join the league of industrialised nations, the situation was unacceptable.
He stated that the difference between developed and developing nations was technology, hence the need for IP awareness creation to ensure that Nigerian researchers are fully abreast of the inherent benefits in undertaking market driven research as against carrying out research for purposes of publication and career progression.
Dr. Ibrahim decried the low patent culture in our knowledge institutions which according to him, was instrumental to high dependency on imported technologies. He encouraged researchers to approach NOTAP with their research results so that the Office will assist them in patenting them at no cost.
The DG further stated that Nigerian researchers are talented and have carried out numerous research but lost them through publishing and seminar presentations before patenting them. He further stated that NOTAP in a bid to encourage researchers, assist them in writing patent claims, file for a patent and pay for patenting fees and only call the researcher for collection of the patent certificate.
Earlier in his welcome address, the Vice Chancellor of the University, Professor Abdulkarim Muhammad Sabo said that the establishment of IPTTO in Federal University Dutse, Jigawa State was a testament to the fact that the school is performing well in critical research, adding that what makes Malaysia tick is technology. He further said that Malaysia has a number of innovation and technology parks that produces goods and services that add to the gross domestic products of the Country.
He said that NOTAP, s visionary leadership programmes especially in the area of Intellectual Property protection will encourage the development of startups which will translate into the economic prosperity of not only the institutions but also individual researchers.
He said that the university has carried out various research activities that have resulted in the production of food supplements and other products that are capable of solving health challenges. He said that some of the products’ production documents will be forwarded to NOTAP for evaluation for patenting.
He encouraged the staff of the institution to take the IP training seriously as it will help in refocusing their research undertakings.