UFH Celebrates World Intellectual Property Day

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Earlier this month, the University of Fort Hare joined the global community in celebrating World Intellectual Property (IP) Day at the Alice Campus. This annual event, marked by the United Nations Convention on April 26th, is celebrated worldwide through workshops, exhibitions, competitions, social media campaigns, panel discussions, and webinars.

This year’s celebration at UFH was graced by distinguished guests from the National Intellectual Property Management Office (NIPMO), the Department of Higher Education and Training (DHET), the Technology Innovation Agency (TIA), Adams & Adams IP attorneys, and Walter Sisulu University.

World IP Day aims to raise awareness about the critical role that intellectual property rights play in fostering creativity and innovation. The broader objectives include:

Promoting IP: Educating the public on the importance of intellectual property rights in encouraging creativity and innovation.

Encouraging Innovation: Highlighting the critical role that IP plays in driving technological advancement and economic growth.

Celebrating Creativity: Recognizing the contributions of inventors, artists, and entrepreneurs.

Facilitating IP Understanding: Increasing understanding of how protecting IP rights helps promote fair competition and stimulates further creative endeavors.

Influenced by this year’s theme, “IP & SDGs: Building Our Common Future with Innovation and Creativity,” the event focused on how support should be given to researchers.

Mr. Jase from NIPMO presented on regulatory frameworks and capacity development support, emphasizing how NIPMO can assist researchers. Mr. Phochana from TIA discussed funding instruments available for innovative research, prototype development, and commercialization of intellectual property. Dr. Ida Makukule from DHET provided an outline of creative output evaluations and guidelines, highlighting how these are awarded as units to universities.

Prof. Oyedeji from Walter Sisulu University shared her inspiring success story, detailing her innovative work and highlighting the means of attracting funding and the benefits of collaboration. Mr. Mmotong from Adams & Adams IP attorneys concluded the event with a presentation on different IP strategies associated with sustainable development goals.

The celebration underscored the importance of supporting researchers and fostering an environment where innovation and creativity can thrive.