Digital Innovation Hubs (DIHs) are at the forefront of technological advancement in today’s fast-paced world. As such, they play a crucial role in facilitating the transfer of technology from lab to the market. However, technology transfer is not without its challenges. That is why a workshop was organized by Emerging Communities Africa (ECA) as part of the AfriConEU Networking Academy activities to help DIHs explore the concept of technology transfer, its benefits, and the legal framework in place to protect it. This workshop aimed to equip participants with the necessary knowledge and tools to navigate the complex world of technology transfer successfully. With the right approach, technology transfer can be a valuable tool for promoting innovation, economic growth, and development. In this article, we will delve deeper into the key takeaways from the workshop and explore the importance of technology transfer in today’s digital landscape.
The hybrid workshop took place on Friday, March 31st 2023 at Akure Tech Hub, Ondo State and featured and group discussion between participants and 2 keynote sessions taken by Olumbe Akinkugbe, Chairman of Ondo State Information and Technology Agency (SITA) and Kitan David, Founder of Future Academy Africa respectively.
Olumbe Akinkugbe explained how technology transfer is a critical component of innovation and economic development, as it allows organizations to leverage existing knowledge and expertise to create new products and services. He also stated that technology transfer can take many forms, including licensing agreements, joint ventures, and research collaborations. The goal of technology transfer is to take innovative ideas and turn them into tangible products and services that can benefit society.
He further went on to state 2 primary drivers of technology transfer
- The need for innovation.
- The need for economic growth.
In today’s fast-paced digital landscape, innovation is key to staying competitive. Organizations that fail to innovate risk falling behind their competitors and losing market share. By transferring technology, organizations can leverage existing knowledge and expertise to create new products and services that meet the needs of their customers.
Technology transfer can help create new businesses, jobs, and industries, which can contribute to economic growth and development. By transferring technology, organizations can create new products and services that generate revenue and create employment opportunities.
He rounded up the session by stating that technology transfer is a complex process that requires careful consideration of legal and regulatory issues. There are several legal frameworks in place to protect technology transfer, including intellectual property laws, export control regulations, and licensing agreements.
After his session participants gathered in 3 groups to discuss “the motivations and benefits of technology transfer” after the group discussion, representatives from each group presented insights from their respective groups. Adedapo from group A stated that Improved standard of living through technology has helped make life easier. Esther from group B gave some benefits of technology transfer which includes Collaboration; Using the strength of a sector to build another, Commercialization and Industrialization, Knowledge dissemination, Innovation. Peace from group C said ”the importance of licensing cannot be overemphasized, if you have an idea, you must protect it in transferring such technology and the sustainability of the idea or product that is being involved in the process of technology transfer”.
To wrap up the workshop, Kitan David gave the final session on technology transfer mechanisms. He focused on the impact of Artificial Intelligence(AI) in technology transfer and how organizations and individuals have to stay on the trend as it’s rapidly causing technology transfer waves in various industries. He also made mention of the need for documentation as documenting processes is key to recognizing room for technology transfer.
In conclusion, technology transfer is a critical component of innovation, economic growth, and development. It allows organizations to leverage existing knowledge and expertise to create new products and services that meet the needs of their customers. However, technology transfer is not without its challenges, and organizations must carefully consider legal, regulatory, and business issues when transferring technology. By doing so, organizations can successfully navigate the complex world of technology transfer and reap the benefits of this valuable tool. By the end of the workshop, participants had a comprehensive overview of the technology transfer process and were able to identify legal frameworks like NDAs, IP laws, Licensing agreements etc. to protect technology transfer.