Innovators dared to protect their work

In an interview with The Daily Times, Malata emphasised the need to address registration and policy issues. “There are certain things we cannot do if the registration process is not good enough to create opportunities and space for young and old people, women and men to innovate,” Malata said. “In other words, what we are saying is, if you have an innovation, do not run…

Malawi University of Science and Technology (Must) Vice Chancellor Address Malata has urged researchers and innovators in the country to trademark their work.

In an interview with The Daily Times, Malata emphasised the need to address registration and policy issues.

She was speaking in the context of reports that most innovators and researchers miss opportunities that would amplify their work due to failure to protect their creations.

“There are certain things we cannot do if the registration process is not good enough to create opportunities and space for young and old people, women and men to innovate,” Malata said.

She also pointed out that lack of awareness about intellectual property hampers economic growth.

“In other words, what we are saying is, if you have an innovation, do not run around with it on social media because people can steal your ideas and come up with your innovation and sell it,” Malata cautioned.

She then highlighted the importance of disseminating information and advocated for integrating science and innovation education from primary school.

“We should be able to sell products as a country because countries that have made progress such as South Korea invested so much in innovation.

“We should give young people opportunities to come up with ideas, develop those ideas and sell them on the market and create jobs,” she said.

McLean Sibanda, an intellectual property specialist based in South Africa, urged local universities in Malawi to commercialise intellectual property and facilitate technology transfer.

“The essence lies in ensuring that the broader society benefits from the research conducted within universities,” Sibanda said.

Must was designed to lead in innovation and technology through research.