Epo President Aripo Keyvisual.jpg

EPO, ARIPO and AfrIPI host Knowledge Transfer to Africa seminar in Harare

12 December 2022

EPO President visit to ARIPO keyvisual

On 6 December 2022, EPO
President António Campinos visited the headquarters of the African
Regional Intellectual Property Organisation (ARIPO) in Harare, Zimbabwe.

part of a delegation visit to Africa, the EPO and ARIPO co-hosted the PATLIB seminar “IP awareness
sessions on patents and innovation for Africa”, jointly organised and funded by
AfrIPI. President Campinos also availed of the opportunity to hold a
bilateral meeting with ARIPO Director General Bemanya Twebaze.

The EPO President opened the PATLIB seminar by stressing the role
and importance of the network in supporting African universities on the path to
knowledge transfer and stated that “Our Knowledge Transfer 2
Africa initiative (KT2A) – implemented in August this year – is in place to
foster cooperation between our PATLIB network and more than 60 universities
spanning the continent. We want to lay down the groundwork for exploring skills
in patent knowledge, technology transfer and patent commercialisation

The EPO launched KT2A in April 2022 to
disseminate the experience and expertise gained by the PATLIB network beyond
Europe’s borders. The aim of this initiative is to foster innovation and
technology transfer in selected African universities, in close cooperation with
regional and national IP offices.

is the EPO’s network of patent information centres. There are over 300 centres
spread regionally across the EPO’s member states. PATLIB centres provide access
to patent information and guidance on other intellectual property rights and
related services. These can include technology and competitor watches, patent
statistics, patent valuation/audits, advice on patent strategy, and guidance on
commercialisation/technology transfer.

The two-day PATLIB seminar brought together some 20 African universities
participating in the KT2A. During
the seminar, President Campinos and Director General Twebaze led a roundtable
discussion on the future implementation of the Knowledge Transfer to Africa
initiative. The event provided an excellent platform in which to exchange
and report on the activities under the KT2A which is currently running  under Proof of Concept (PoC), and to discuss its
future development.

The seminar
concluded with presentations by PATLIB experts in a hybrid format who outlined the
success factors required for an efficient and effective technology transfer
from universities.

benefits of the KT2A initiative were brought to light under the PoC and in order for it to evolve and grow, the involvement of
more universities is required. These will be selected by the African national patent
offices, ARIPO and OAPI, and some individual countries. In addition, the seminar
proved to be an ideal environment in which to discuss the experience, and best
practices gained under the PoC while setting out a shared vision and
expectations for the future of this exciting initiative.

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