Intellectual Property Rights Management Underpinning Successful International Collaboration
As countries seek new ways to strengthen their economies including through diversification, the need for increased local, regional and global collaborations in scientific research, technological development and innovation has become evident. However, lack of human capacity remains a challenge.
Building skills for increasing locally relevant knowledge production is one of the aims that African governments together with development partners, have committed to support through the Regional Scholarship and Innovation Fund (RSIF) of the Partnership for Skills in Applied Sciences, Engineering and Technology (PASET). The program approach relies on building strong regional and global research networks involving the private sector.
“Intellectual property (IP) management underpins the success of any of these collaborations”, says Dr. Segenet Kelemu, Director General and CEO of icipe, the Regional Coordination Unit of RSIF.
It is, therefore, imperative to have guidelines for IP frameworks that safeguard the interests of parties as they engage in collaborative research and innovation activities.
New RSIF IP Manual
The newly published Intellectual Property Management Manual provides guidance on IP Rights (IPR) provisions applicable in the RSIF program.
“Proper management of IP facilitates the use and dissemination of results emanating from RSIF interventions in Sub Saharan Africa (SSA), which is a key objective of PASET”, says Dr. Moses Osiru, RSIF-RCU Manager.
Scientists and all partners in a scientific research or innovation collaboration project should therefore consider protection of IPR and related issues early on when developing joint activities.
The Manual has been prepared through intensive consultations with partners involved in RSIF research and innovation activities, including faculty at African Host Universities (AHUs) and International Partner Institutions (IPIs) as well as RSIF Scholars and other relevant third parties. The guidelines also benefits from lessons from the BioInnovate Africa program at icipe.
The manual provides guidance on key issues including ownership of background and foreground IP, protection, dissemination and use of foreground IP, patent applications, publications, access rights and commercialization of IP generated from collaborative research and innovation activities.
The Manual should be used as reference in conjunction with relevant institutional policies of the collaborating partners as well as related project or partnership agreements.
Download the Manual