Duniya HealthcareJuly 11, 2023
DIGILOGIC at the virtual AfriConEU Policy Roundtable event in GhanaSeptember 25, 2023
Science Summit, United Nations General Assembly UNGA 78
A DIGILOGIC representative from Prototipi attended the online event “How to fast-track commercialisation of R&D outputs in organisation of African, Caribbean, and Pacific states (OACPS) member countries” on Thursday, 21st September 2023. The event aimed to support unlocking the innovation potential of the 79thmember states of (OACPS).
Gerard den Ouden, OACPS Research and Innovation (R&I) Programme Manager moderated the event, and the debate focused on the following issues:
- How to create an environment that promotes collaboration between academia, industry, government, and civil society and accelerates the uptake of R&D outputs.
- How government policies and regulations can best support the commercialisation of R&D outputs while protecting the public interest (accessibility of new technologies and products, positive impact on people's lives, etc.).
H.E Georges Rebelo Pinto Chikoti, secretary general of OACPS, gave an opening remark on accelerating the commercialisation of research and development results in Africa, the Caribbean, and the Pacific. He stated that “the innovation potential is in OACPS member countries. Still, it must be freed through appropriate mechanisms, support innovation, and answer the development priorities. To overcome these challenges, innovation, research, and development must be promoted in all the sectors of the member countries.”
The OACPS research and innovation programme has two main pillars: the Policy Support Facilities, assisting countries to develop policies, and the innovation programme. Members of the Partnership Support Facility, Mr Mucktarr Darboe, Director of STI, Ministry of Higher Education, Research, Science and Technology, Gambia and Mr Tom Peter Migun Ogada, Chairman of the Board of the Kenya National Innovation Agency (KNIA), presented their experiences on improving policy when it comes to science, technology and innovation. Three selected innovation projects were presented by Mr Alioune Faye, manager of the VaRRIWA project; Mrs Lionelle Ngo-Samnick, Manager of the PDTIE project; and Mrs Legena Henry, CEO of Rum & Sargassum.
Whereas Intellectual Property (IP) rights need to be protected and reinforced to speed up the process of R&D output in the market, priority must be given to resolving concrete and practical issues, according to Mrs Lionelle. To foster a culture of innovation and entrepreneurship among researchers, Mr Tom mentioned that we need to identify the challenges research organisations and institutions face in commercialising their R&D output and devise a solution that best addresses them. Fostering exchange between different government factors, institutions can strengthen the interaction between researchers, innovators, and the government, thereby boosting researchers marketing innovation. OACPS countries need more investment from governments. Research shows that governments contribute to 1% of investment in West Africa. Mr Mucktarr added that technology transfer offices are crucial in fostering the commercialisation of R&D outputs. However, in the OACPS member countries, staff capacity within the technology transfer offices must be augmented and increase awareness within the academia.
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