Over 30 members of staff drawn from different academic disciplines within the University have concluded a seminar on patent, scientific and technological information search. The training that was conducted by consultants from the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), was part of JKUAT efforts to raise intellectual property (IP) awareness among students and staff.
While giving a presentation on patent utilization within university system, Jerry Omulo said universities should be at the forefront of translating knowledge into useful products and technologies that create wealth while solving societal problems.
Omulo urged researchers to maintain a register of activities that could act as evidence at the point of patent filing or other forms of protection. He also took the participants through the innovation value chain name: ideation, research, planning, prototyping and launching.
Another consultant Rose Mboya who spoke on screening academic projects such as theses and dissertations for potential IP and commercialization, urged local universities to be more proactive in protecting and showcasing their technologies and innovations.
Ms. Mboya advised that students should be assisted to screen for IP as early as at the proposal writing stage. She cautioned against publishing research findings before protecting novel ideas.
Dr. Judith Okoth from the Department of Food Science and Technology lauded the initiative, saying it would change the way staff and students approach the innovation process. She called for additional training for academic supervisors who guide students through the research process, as a way of ensuring wider reach of the IP awareness in the University.
The Director of Intellectual Property Management and University-Industry Liaison at JKUAT, Eng. Benson Kariuki urged the participants to use their new knowledge to sensitize students and staff in their departments.
The workshop was a result of technical assistance accorded to JKUAT by WIPO, African Regional Intellectual Property organization (ARIPO) and the Organization Africaine de la Propriete Intellectuelle (OAPI), to foster IP management in the University.
Eng. Kariuki said the technical assistance will also build on other areas such as human resource development on patent drafting besides reviewing existing JKUAT IP Policy and strategies.