In a bid to facilitate the acculturation of Intellectual Property protection into the Nigerian knowledge industry, the National Office for Technology Acquisition and Promotion (NOTAP) has established the 39th Intellectual Property and Technology Transfer Office (IPTTO) in University of Ilorin, Kwara State.
Speaking during the Commissioning ceremony, the Director General of NOTAP, Dr. DanAzumi Mohammed Ibrahim said the establishment of IPTTOs in some strategic tertiary Institutions in the Country was to create awareness on the importance of intellectual property to the techno-economic development of the country.
He stated that knowledge is what rules the world and technology according to him has become the global index for measuring growth and economic sustainability of a nation. He added that the establishment of IPTTOs in tertiary institutions in Nigeria will in the long run stimulate demand-driven research in the research institutions.
The DG noted that what differentiates the developed and developing nations of the world is the level of technological advancement attained by them whereas technology is the product of Intellectual Property.
He further stated that Universities in the developed countries have continued to rank higher than those in the developing countries because the Research and Development (R&D) infrastructure and other social facilities are better, making it possible for research results from the developed countries to metamorphose into products and services, while those of the developing countries remain on the shelves at prototype level.
The DG said there was a poor innovative and intellectual property protection culture in the country but the IPTTOs will facilitate the galvanization of research results for onward commercialization.
He reiterated that Nigeria has one of the largest knowledge industry in the entire West African sub-region with over 142 Universities, about 125 Polytechnics, 98 Colleges of education and more than 300 research institutions, yet over 90% of our financial institutions are powered by foreign technology.
He therefore challenged the University to maximize the benefits of the IPTTO to ensure that in the nearest possible time, it will no longer depend wholly on state budgetary allocation but royalties from licensing of its research results and Commercialization of its R&D results.
The Vice Chancellor of the University who was represented by the Deputy Vice Chancellor Management Services, Prof. Abdulkarim Adebayo said the selection of the University as a beneficiary of the IPTTO did not come as a surprise since the institution has a proven record of academic excellence.
He noted that before the introduction of Intellectual Property and Technology Transfer Offices in the Nigerian Universities, the importance of Intellectual Property protection was not really appreciated, rather, the interest of the University lecturers was mainly to publish their research works.
The VC thanked NOTAP for the show of commitment and readiness in ensuring that Nigerians refocused their research works to a more profitable market/demand-driven research for economic prosperity.