Participants in a group photograph

The Technology Development and Transfer Centre (TDTC) of the Office of Research, Innovation and Development (ORID), in collaboration with the Africa Regional Intellectual Property Organisation (ARIPO), has organised a four-day training workshop on Intellectual Property and Technology Transfer for researchers in the College of Basic and Applied Sciences and the College of Health Sciences.

Fifty-seven (57) researchers participated in the first session at the University of Ghana Business School (New Graduate Building), Legon Campus, while thirty-two (32) participated in Session two, held at the College of Health Sciences, Korle-Bu Campus. Both workshops were aimed at enhancing intellectual property generating activities of researchers to promote technological and socio economic development.

Prof. John Gyapong, Pro- Vice Chancellor for Research, Innovation and Development welcomed participants to the workshop held at the Legon Campus. He commended the Director General of ARIPO and other officials at ARIPO for the keen interest, as well as their technical and financial support committed towards the workshop. He encouraged researchers to adopt a paradigm shift towards the protection of research findings, prior to publication, in order to derive maximum value from their intellectual efforts. Professor Gyapong affirmed the commitment of the Office of Research, Innovation and Development (ORID), in providing support for the patenting, registration and commercialisation of intellectual property generated at the University.

At the session held at the Korle-Bu campus, Prof. George Obeng Adjei in a statement of welcome, indicated that the workshop was timely in view of ongoing innovative research activities at the University that called for the need to intensify awareness on intellectual property and the benefits thereof.

Mr. Emmanuel Sackey, Chief Examiner at ARIPO delivered a statement on behalf of his organization. He pledged ARIPO’s support to the University of Ghana in promoting the use of intellectual property systems. Mr. Sackey in his presentations, outlined the various types of intellectual property rights that could be used to protect one’s intellectual property, the use of patent databases to inform research projects so as to avoid a duplication of efforts or reinvention of the wheel, and rather generate innovative works that will solve problems and offer benefits and value to society. His other presentations focused on enhancing university industry collaborations and wealth creation through technology transfer.

Mr. Said Ramadhan, Examiner in Biotechnology at ARIPO exposed participants to patent databases, how to conduct prior art searches and the various patent databases employed in a search. He also spoke on the use of intellectual property to promote university industry engagement to enhance the competiveness of Small and Medium Enterprises.

The sessions also included a general discussion on publications versus patenting in an academic environment. During this discussion, it was evident that most researchers had not benefited from their intellectual property because these works had been put in the public domain through various means such as publications, conference presentations, oral discussions, without first taking steps to get these works protected. This discussion brought out the need for researchers to disclose their works to the University to enable the University take steps to protect these works before any form of public disclosure is made.  It also brought to the fore, the need for researchers to be mindful of Intellectual Property (IP) clauses in their research contracts and to make use of the support systems provided by the University through the Office of Research, Innovation and Development (ORID) in reviewing such contracts to ensure that IP provisions in these contracts are beneficial to all parties.

Mrs. Diana Owusu Antwi, Research Development Officer responsible for Intellectual Property & Technology Transfer at ORID, in her presentation shared the provisions in the University of Ghana Intellectual Property Policy on ownership of intellectual property, intellectual property disclosure and the ensuing processes (evaluation, intellectual property protection, marketing, evaluation, commercialisation and benefit sharing). She encouraged inventors and creators to disclose their works to the Technology Development and Transfer Centre (TDTC) to kick start the process of evaluation to identify any intellectual property therein that could be protected and/ or commercialised.

Mr. Sampson Addo, Research Development Officer at the College of Basic and Applied Sciences also talked about some incentives offered by the TDTC to promote innovation and technology transfer. He mentioned the Technology Transfer Grant which supports demand-driven projects that involve the identification of a business/scientific problem, need or opportunity and a demonstration of how the technology -based solution addresses the business/scientific problem, need or opportunity either for a specific firm, group or association.

The grant amount is up to GH¢50,000 for researchers and up to GH¢5,000 for post graduate students. Another incentive is the Conference Grant for Research Commercialization, which provides faculty and researchers with the Cedi equivalent of USD1,500 to enable them develop or enhance their skills in the area of innovation, technology transfer or commercialization.

The Technology Development and Transfer Centre (TDTC) under the Office of Research, Innovation and Development (ORID), was launched in June 2014. The Centre is responsible for the transfer of innovative technologies generated at the University of Ghana to the market for the development of new products and services.  Please click on the following link for more information http://tdtc.ug.edu.gh/

Sections of participants at the workshop