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MMUST Conducts Two-day Workshop to Enhance Researchers’ Understanding of Intellectual Property Rights

Speaking during the official opening of the event, the Deputy Vice Chancellor (Planning, Research and Innovation), Prof. Charles Mutai, pointed out that Universities are ranked by their research output. “It is important for us to ensure that our University programmes are tailored around research, innovation and commercialization. If this is attained, MMUST will be able to rank among the top Universities in the world. Through research, the University can contribute towards advancing our society by strengthening the economy, driving innovation and addressing the problems we face as a people,” said Prof. Mutai.

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Workshop participants keenly following a presentation.

Further, he assured researchers of the Management’s commitment to providing excellent University education, training and research. “In this financial year, we have set aside Kshs. Five (5) million to fund students’ innovative ideas,” he added.

In his remarks, the Director SPIIC, Prof. John Muoma, mentioned that the workshop was crucial in educating researchers on how to increase the University’s IP profile and protect their innovative ideas. “Let us work on moving our IPs to IPRs. By doing so, we will be growing our institution as well as ourselves,” said Prof. Muoma.

Prof. Muoma emphasized on the aspect of innovation, saying that a lot of new ideas are being generated by students as well as the community. He encouraged the researchers to work hand-in-hand with these key stakeholders to increase attention and jointly provide solutions to the complex issues affecting them.

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The Director SPIIC, Prof. John Muoma, giving his remarks at the workshop.

MMUST’s IP consultant, Mr. Fred Otswong’o, who was the guest speaker at the event, elucidated important concerns such as the need to understand how to protect the University’s researches and innovations when sharing them with the public. He stated that IPRs should encourage scholars to bring out the best inventions and innovations without fear of infringement.

“MMUST IPR is growing very fast. Currently, the University has seven (7) patents, nine (9) trademarks, three (3) utility models, two (2) international patent applications and several copyrights,” said the founder of Fred Otswong’o and IP Associates (FOIPA) Ltd. 

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MMUST’s IP consultant, Mr. Fred Otswong’o, making a presentation on the second of the Workshop.

The workshop enlightened participants regarding various aspects of intellectual property including the purpose of protecting IP, laws governing IP, role of the Kenya Industrial Property Institute (KIPI) in IP and drafting an IP.  

The researchers noted that University research is expensive particularly in laboratory-intensive fields. They asked the University Management to invest in equipment and facilities such as research laboratories to facilitate their research initiatives.

Research shows that in today’s increasingly knowledge-based society, ideas have become a key factor in capital generation and development. This has paved the way for the rise in intellectual property rights. Holding such a Workshop is evidence that MMUST is committed to promoting its researchers’ expertise, as well as educating them on how to benefit from their innovations.

By Caren Nekesa and Mary Wangari Wambugu

Photos by Wilberforce Shiundu

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