Media Release – Establishes A National Technology Transfer Office
Botswana Innovation Hub in conjunction with the Southern Africa Innovation Support (SAiS) programme and the University of Botswana and University of Namibia have established a National Technology Transfer Office (TTO). The establishment of the office is a mission critical value add that is a result of the company’s drive to build a vibrant national innovation ecosystem through private-public partnership initiatives that involve research and development with academic institutions and the public and private sector.
The National Technology Transfer Office opened its doors earlier this month following the appointment of the Technology Transfer Officer, Samuel Kopano Gaborone. Gaborone has extensive experience and a wealth of knowledge in the commercialization of technological ideas, products and services. He is a trained Mechanical Engineer, but has practised as a Technology and Innovation management expert after his post-graduate training in Intellectual Property (IP) Management at the University of London, UK in 2006. He has received further short-term training in Patent Law, Patent Claims Drafting, Innovation Management and Project Management from Sweden, Norway, Ethiopia and South Africa.
Gaborone has worked his entire career life at the Rural Industries Promotions Company (Botswana) RIPCO (B), where he did general Intellectual Property (IP) Management work of Idea interrogation, searches, expert advice, education, IP filing, stake-holder engagement and overall Technology Transfer functions. His duties at RIPCO (B) entailed responsibility for conceptualising ideas into engineering designs and drawings, manufacture of prototypes, conduct product tests, and ultimately transferring the product to market via the creation of Spin-off companies (commercialisation).
The Technology Transfer Office has set up at First Steps Venture Centre at the River Walk Annex. The office exists to assist Innovators and Inventors in the commercialisation of their technological ideas, products and services. This entails a thorough break-down and interrogation of such in-coming inventions for possible IP protection, assisting with drafting of any IP claims made, identification of existing manufacturing partners, or in their absence, facilitation of creation of Spin-off companies to up-take the research results, assistance with Commercialisation Licensing encompassing Non-Disclosure and benefit sharing clauses, stake-holder management and general dissemination of info on Intellectual Property and Tech Transfer.
Gaborone says, It is early days in the establishment of the TTO but we envisage that, in the long term, the office will be a National Office servicing the broader research community in Botswana. He encourages innovators, inventors and technology entrepreneurs to, come join us in improving Botswana’s industrial and commercial competitiveness, creating employment, serving society and enhancing the quality of our citizen’s life through commercialisation of scientific, engineering and Indigenous Knowledge-based innovations.
Cluster Development Director, Budzanani Tacheba PhD said the setting up of the Technology Transfer Office is an essential value add that will further improve the national innovation ecosystem.
By Tigele Mokobi