The Uganda Registration Services Bureau (URSB) in collaboration with the World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO), recently organized a training for researchers in Uganda.
WIPO on its part, through its Technology and Innovation Support Centres (TISCs) is working to set up free support centres in universities across the Uganda. Through TISCs, scientists and researchers will have unlimited free access to over 70,000 databases of patented high quality technology information and documents. The center will also provide access for innovators to connect with Small and Medium Enterprises that operate in line with their innovations to get economic value for the products. TISCs have been established in M Mbabara, Busitema and Kyambogo University. Talks are also being held at a number of private universities about setting up TISCs at those institutions.
James Lubwama, a Senior Patent Examiner at URSB stated that the goal is to reinforce the capacity of developing countries to participate on the global knowledge economy.
“We are providing access to up to date databases for them to read before coming up with innovations. People duplicate things from outside countries and since they are the first to do it in Uganda, they come out to seek for patent rights not knowing that a patent is given when an innovation is the first of its kind in the world,” he said.
He further stated that by providing information to local innovators, inventions will be improved and duplication of works of foreign innovators will be reduced or avoided.
Agaba Gilber a manager at URSB stated that “intellectual property plays a role in supporting technology transfer and also commercialization of research output”. Without intellectual property, there is no way you are going to secure the value you add in the creation of anything. “Many people are unaware that there are research products that have come out of universities in Uganda. They are there but you won’t know because they are not documented,” he said.
The project is also supported by the Japan Funds-in-Trust for Africa.
Elangi Botoy Ituku, a project officer at WIPO, while speaking at the event stated “All one needs to do is to have a laptop and access to internet to tap into available quality researches worldwide unhindered”.
Source: New Vision