By Anthony Isaac
The Director-General of the National Office for Technology Acquisition and Promotion (NOTAP), Dr. DanAzumi Ibrahim has urged researchers in Nigeria to focus on researches with potentials to translate into products and services.
He said, that is the only way to attract private companies to commercialise the results of such researches.
Ibrahim who spoke in Abuja on Tuesday during a training workshop for Nigerian researchers on intellectual property rights (IPRS) and writing skills for grant winning proposals, urged Nigerian researchers to move away from researches meant only for academic awards.
He urged them to ensure that findings from researches are patented to enable them reap maximum benefits from their work.
He explained: “The essence of this training is to sensitize them to appreciate that they have an asset. Whatever research and development they have come out with, if they don’t protect it, it may never translate into products and services because it is private sector driven. And no private sector company will put money on any intellectual asset that is not protected.
“So the essence is to sensitize them to begin to think and undertake credible research and development that has potentials to translate into products and services for economic development of our nation”.
He noted that if the researchers are able to come out with Nigerian technologies, producing products and services, “we will succeed in reducing the level of unemployment in this country”.
Dr. Ibrahim insisted that Nigeria as a nation could not continue to consume technologies developed by other nations because huge amount is paid for the licencing of the technologies.
“The implication is that for every dollar we send outside, we are providing job opportunities for people outside the country. While our young people are walking the streets without jobs”.
The DG who expressed optimism on the progress made so far, noted that impact could be seen in the number of people applying for patents through NOTAP in the past four years.
Declaring the workshop open, the Minister of State, Science and Technology, Barrister Mohammed Abdullahi urged companies to partner with NOTAP to ensure commercialisation of research findings in the country.
He expressed the hope that the workshop would put the participants in a better position to attract grants for their researches.
“It has been observed that the awareness and role of intellectual property rights in knowledge transfer and commercialisation are very low amongst the Nigerian researchers.
“Furthermore, low understanding of the socio-economic benefits of IPRs has led to loss of about 90 percent of research outputs on its journey to the industry where it would be transformed into new products and services”, he stated.
Abdullahi said the President Muhammadu Bihari administration was determined to build a strong linkage between the researchers and the industry to ensure that the country benefits maximally from the results of researches.
At the event was attended by researchers drawn from universities and research institutions across the country. 57 patent certificates were handed over to researchers with the University of Port Harcourt acquiring five patents.