02nd Dec, 2023 7:14am
On 31st August 2022, the Islamic University in Uganda (IUIU), hosted a workshop on intellectual property protection (IPP), with facilitators from Uganda Registration Services Bureau (URSB). The workshop was one of the prerequisites to IUIU’s enrollment into the network of technology and innovation support centers (TISC), a technology initiative by the world intellectual property organization (WIPO). TISC is an initiative by WIPO, aimed at facilitating and providing innovators in developing countries with access to high quality technology information and related services, essentially helping them to exploit their innovative potential and to create, protect, and manage their intellectual property rights (IPR). As a TISC host member, IUIU will now enjoy numerous benefits such as remote access to several information-rich quality databases with details on registered IPR (i.e patents, utility models, etc), readily available guidance and support by URSB on the process of IPP, as well as easy identification of potential collaborations, from both within the academia as well as the industry, nationally, regionally, and globally. The highly interactive workshop included four main presentations on: - The URSB mandate, The TISC Network, Patent Information Search, and IP Commercialization. The workshop provided timely insights into how IUIU and other academic institutions, could leverage and exploit the potential value of the intellectual property present in the numerous research and innovations efforts, way beyond just the traditional academic-valued outputs in the forms of research publications and dissertations.
The workshop took place physically at IUIU – Kampala Campus, with other participants attending virtually from the other IUIU Campuses and beyond, via Zoom livestreaming. The Rector IUIU, Professor Ismail Simbwa Gyagenda, was also present at the workshop. While giving his remarks, the Rector emphasized the need for IUIU and other African Universities to engage in competitive research and innovation activities that will eventually see Uganda and the African continent producing industrial products of global standards. “When our African Universities start engaging in research and innovative works of patentable quality, we will have achieved as a continent because that would translate into commercialization consequently generating revenue for our Universities and Countries”, noted, Professor Ismail. He reiterated his firm support towards all IUIU staff and students, engaging in research and innovative activities, aimed at exploiting the opportunities within the IP value-chain and the innovation ecosytem.
As another prerequisite to enrollment into the TISC Network, IUIU designated Dr Umar Yahya (Head, Motion Analysis Research Laboratory) as the TISC Focal Person at IUIU. The Focal Person shall be responsible for disseminating information pertaining to TISC, organizing and coordinating the necessary trainings as per the different needs of IUIU’s research and academic units, as well as guiding and coordinating the internal filing processes of IP protection by IUIU’s Innovative Staff and Students. The Director of Research Publications and Innovations, Dr Maimuna Nimulola Amina, also actively participated in the workshop virtually from IUIU’s Main Campus in Mbale. Others present were the Director – Kampala Campus, Dr Kasule Twaha Ahmed, Mr Dragule Swaib (Coordinator, IUIU - COMSTECH), staff and students from the different faculties and departments at IUIU, as well as other participants attending virtually from different geographical locations. The delegation from URSB comprised of Mr Lubwama Tonny James (Manager, Patents and Industrial Design), Mr Abraham Onyait Ajeet (Senior Officer – Search and Examination), and Mr Rogers Lumu (Technical Officer). IUIU becomes the 31st member of the WIPO – TISC network within Uganda, with the other 30 members comprising of some Universities, as well as Research and Development Centers.