Intellectual property (IP) management and technology transfer (TT) are important activities for enhancing the impact of research and development (R&D) in the public sector. They facilitate the uptake, application and use of developed products and services by companies who can take them to market, and ultimately by the communities and end-users who can benefit from them.
A strong IP portfolio can also have a positive effect on attracting R&D partnerships and funding, as well as facilitating wider interaction between the research community and industry, leading to more needs-based R&D which can offer pertinent solutions to actual real-life problems. Successful technology transfer can also generate new income streams for research institutions.
To promote capacity building related to these topics, NEPAD SANBio/BioFISA II recently offered support via mobility grants to individuals to participate in an advanced WIPO summer course on Intellectual Property in Cape Town, 05 to 15 December 2016. The Summer School provided an opportunity for senior students and young professionals to acquire deeper knowledge of IP and TT.
Dr Lalasoa Ranarivelo from the Centre National d'Application de Recherches Pharmaceutiques (CNARP) in Madagascar was one of the Summer School's participants. CNARP deals with natural substances, essential oils and pharmaceutical products derived from traditional medicine and medicinal plants.
Dr Ranarivelo remarks how the valorization of research results is a fundamental component in the development of knowledge economy, noting that the notion of establishing a Technology Transfer Office (TTO) is something new for CNARP and, to her knowledge, for Madagascar. "I intend to communicate first to the researcher teams at CNARP the key points on IP and TT; in essence, why and how to create a Technology Transfer Office and emphasize the importance of IP and TT in research," she says.
"CNARP has lacked the structure or a person to ensure the transfer of basic research results to product commercialization. This training will help us become more effective in the near future in the biosciences and essential oils domain. My participation at the WIPO Summer School was important and useful to update my knowledge on IP Management and Technology Transfer," she concludes.