NOTAP tasks IP stakeholders to engage in commercialisation of patents

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By Eunice Orike

National Office for Technology Acquisition and Promotion (NOTAP) has charged intellectual property IP stakeholders to actively engage in the commercialisation of their patents for financial gains.

The acting director-general of NOTAP, Dr. Thereza Imiyoho who gave the charge at a one-day patentees’ forum held in Owerri, Imo, titled “After Imiyoho emphasised the crucial need for Nigerian inventors and innovators to exploit the financial benefits of their research results. The programme, organised by NOTAP, aims to guide researchers in all six geopolitical zones of the country to commercialise their patented inventions effectively.

Imiyoho highlighted the importance of ensuring that patents translate into tangible products and services, as those that cannot become liabilities rather than assets.

She highlighted the avenues available for researchers with patented inventions, suggesting they license them to receive royalties or sell them outright to venture capitalists for further commercialisation.

Imiyoho expressed concern over Nigeria’s historical dependence on foreign products, despite the nation’s wealth of intellectual talent. She urged Nigerian researchers to shift towards market and demand-driven research that contributes to goods and services for the benefit of the country, rather than research solely for career advancement.

She reminisced about the ‘70s when Nigeria, South Korea and Brazil were considered developing countries. Today, Nigeria faces challenges in research funding, while South Korea successfully exports its research products to Nigeria and other African countries. Imiyoho affirmed NOTAP’s commitment to supporting indigenous research and development to foster Nigeria’s science, technology and innovation (STI) ecosystem.

Speaking also, head of development finance at the Central Bank of Nigeria CBN,Owerri Office, Mr. Ogbuagu Camillus assured collaboration with development banks to make funds available for critical research.

He encouraged inventors and innovators with bankable research works to approach institutions like CBN, the Bank of Industry (BOI) and other development banks for financial support.

Director of technology acquisition and research coordination (TARC) at NOTAP, Mrs. Caroline Anie-Osuagwu explained in her presentation, “Exploitation of Intellectual Property Rights,” that IP should be commercially exploited for the financial benefit of the holder.

She stressed that technology development depends on investing heavily in research and encouraged researchers to patent and license their inventions to venture capitalists.

Participants and stakeholders from the southeast zone praised NOTAP for the impactful programme and requested the office’s assistance in connecting them with investors and up-takers for the commercialisation of their inventions and also appealed for increased funding.