October 2011

Issue Home >>


Managing intellectual property and innovation clusters

One issue engaging policy makers at The UWI is the need to produce more impactful research and to engage more directly in technology transfer. As part of this effort, the UWI Business Development Office in collaboration with the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) hosted a Regional Seminar entitled Management of Intellectual Property and Innovation Clusters at the St. Augustine Campus on October 11 and 12, 2011.

The aim of the Seminar was to provide guidance to universities in the region on the establishment of Technology Transfer Offices and to create awareness on the importance of intellectual property management in innovation and research and development strategies.

Over 60 participants from the region attended, including representatives of higher education institutions from Antigua and Barbuda, Barbados, Belize, Grenada, Jamaica, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, and Trinidad and Tobago.

Presenters included Prof. Wayne Watkins, Associate Vice-President for Research, University of Akron, Ohio, Dr. Thomas Ewing, Strategic IP Counselling, Tulsa, Oklahoma, United States of America and Dr. Ali Jazairy, Head of WIPO’s Innovation and Technology Transfer Section. Regional expert presenters included Mr. Malcolm Spence, Senior Coordinator on Intellectual Property, Science and Technology Issues, CARICOM Secretariat, Mr. Richard Aching, Intellectual Property Office, Ministry of Legal Affairs of Trinidad and Tobago, and Ms. Mary-Ann Richards, WIPO Consultant and Regional Coordinator.

The Seminar included presentations on the valuation of intellectual property, the identification of clusters in economies, and the creation of value from innovation clusters. Business models for managing innovation clusters were discussed. Presentations were also delivered on the establishment of technology transfer offices and on the commercialisation of R&D results.

Presenters stressed the key role of governments in driving science and innovation. They highlighted the importance of significant investment in R&D at the University level, given that the majority of innovation and invention is conducted there.

Prof. Watkins advised universities to consider focusing on innovation in the area of alternative energy. He stated that the key to innovation in this area was to use existing technology but to find ways to make it cheaper. He suggested using technology that was freely available, that is, technology that was not patented in the country, and making it better.

Presentations delivered at the regional seminar are available online at www.sta.uwi.edu/bdo