Makerere University Intellectual Property (IP) Management Office has urged researchers to register their IP and commercialise their innovations.
The Office Manager Canon Goddy Muhumuza and Administrator Peter Eneru were on Friday 20th October, 2023 meeting staff and researchers in the College of Computing and Information Sciences. The blended meeting held physically and online attracted over 20 researchers and was moderated by the Deputy Principal, Dr. Peter Nabende.
Muhumuza explained that protection and exploitation of research, research outputs and innovations are increasingly becoming important activities for universities all over the world.
“Intellectual Property protection is critical to fostering innovation. Without the protection of ideas, researchers and individuals would not reap the full benefits of their inventions and would focus less on research and development. Inventors, designers, developers, students, staff and authors can protect the ideas.” The manager explained
Currently, the Makerere University Intellectual Property Management Office is visiting colleges with the aim of sensitizing and guiding researchers, staff and students on Intellectual Property including the identification of the IP, the registration and protection of the IP and how to benefit from IP in future.
“I am here for sensitisation on IP management and registration. Many researchers come up with many innovations which when not registered become useless. Books and innovations gone on shelves are gathering dust yet, if they are registered by Makerere University, researchers would benefit from them because Makerere University has an intensive policy of commercialising those projects”, Mr. Muhumuza said.
Benefits of IP and Ownership at Makerere University
Intellectual Property (IP) according to Canon Goddy Muhumuza, refers to creations of the mind, such as inventions, literary and artistic works; designs and symbols, names and images used in commerce. Intellectual Property rights grant the owner of the work exclusive rights to exploit and benefit from his or her work.
The manager explained that IP provides an incentive to the innovators to be able to benefit from the result of their endeavour. The legal protection of innovations encourages the commitment of additional resources for further innovation. In addition, the promotion and protection of IP spurs economic growth, creates jobs and enhances the quality and enjoyment of life.
Muhumuza highlighted that under the Intellectual Property Rights, the inventor can get copyright, patents, designs and, trademarks and trade secrets protection to shield an invention or creation from being duplicated or copied by another individual or business.
The manager highlighted that the creator or originator of the idea, work, or novel invention is presumed to own the IP to their creation. However, if the work was created as part of a work-made-for-hire agreement, or in an employer-employee agreement, a student, the IP belongs to the university.
Once an asset is registered, Muhumuza said, all parties agree on which pathway and benefits to be shared.
“According to the Intellectual Property Management Policy, innovators are getting 80% which is almost all and the university gets 20%, of this, 10% goes back to the innovators department, 5% to management and 5% goes to graduate school. So the university is encouraging as many innovations as possible”, Muhumuza stressed.
Process simplified, Mak Innovation Hub to support commercialisation
The manager said, what the researcher, student or any other individual needs is to declare the IP at the Intellectual Property Management office, and wait for the certificate to be delivered.
“The process is that once you get your IP, you come to the Intellectual Property Management Office, in Yusuf Lule building room 3.2 and you bring your innovation both physical and in writing. And you leave it with us. We submit to URSB, we pay submission, search and certificate fees, and for you, you will be notified that you have got the certificate. You do not need anything to pay. The university pays everything”. The manager asserted.
Muhumuza added that since its inception, the office has managed to register, protect and receive 20 certificates for various IP while 13 IPs have been filled but pending approval by URSB in 2023.
He said Makerere University Innovation hub was established on 1st August 2022 under the Vice Chancellor’s office to provide support mechanisms for commercialisation of innovations for sustainable industrialisation with several projects being implemented.
The objectives of the Innovation hub according to Muhumuza are; to create awareness and disseminate information on innovation, develop tailored demand driven programmes, mobilise resources to nature and support innovation; develop, commercialise and scale up innovations for industrialisation and, strengthen and coordinate the innovation ecosystem through partnerships and linkages.
Up to 2.7 bn grant from Mak-RIF earmarked for scaling and commercialising innovations
The manager told participants that up to 2.7bn shilling will fund innovation projects that have progressed beyond the proof of concept stage and are at the stage of transition to wide scale application or commercialisation.
To be eligible for funding, Muhumuza said, the innovation should be ready to transition to scale and where the Principal innovator is an academic or research staff of Makerere University on permanent or full time contract or senior staff member of the administrative unit linked to research.
Accessibility to the grant involves an online competitive application, project check for eligibility and completeness, pitch to Intellectual Property Management and receiving funds supported by the Mak Hub.
Mak IP Policy
The Makerere University IP policy as per section 3.2.3 provides guidelines for ownership, registration, patenting, commercialisation and disclosure.
The Manager explained that researchers shall seek the assistance of the IP unit in applying for registration of copyright, patents, designs or trademarks under the relevant laws or when trying to commercialise the innovation.
Any discovery or invention resulting from research carried or under the direction of any employee of the university, supported by the university or results arising from an employees’ duties with the university or has been developed in whole or part of this in the use of the university resources or facilities not available to the general public shall belong to the university.
Also, any IP created by a university employee having an honorary appointment at any other institution during that appointment shall lie with the employer who pays the salary of that employer.
Further, Honorary researchers who are not employed by the university are generally required to transfer any IP they create in the course of their honorary activities to the university subject to terms and conditions of their honorary appointment. Sharing proceeds from such IP shall follow university established guidelines.
While closing the meeting, the Deputy Principal CoCIS, Dr. Peter Nabende thanked Mr. Muhumuza for the presentation saying, it touched a number of aspects relating to IP.
“It is an exciting presentation that has raised awareness on what staff should know. It is encouraging and motivating to know that the innovator gets 80%. I thank the IP Office for being effective and managing to come here to present”, Dr. Nabende appreciated.
He encouraged college staff to take on the IP issue seriously imploring the IP office to provide another opportunity to sensitise students on the same matter.
For please click on the link below for the meeting proceedings
Project PIs & Accountants Urged to follow Budget Controls, Approval Structures & Policies
Principal Investigators (PIs), research assistants and accountants in the College of Computing and Information Sciences (CoCIS) on 23rd November 2023 were equipped with knowledge and skills on Accountability protocols to increase their knowledge on managing funds.
The half-day blended Workshop which attracted 30 participants was officially opened by the Principal CoCIS, Prof. Tonny Oyana and facilitated by the Manager Accounts and Reports Makerere University Mr. Lubowa S. Gyaviira and the Team Leader, College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences (CAES) Mr. Tom Vok Elwana.
The training highlighted the common accountability challenges, accountability procedures and approvals and submission of accountability reports.
Noting delays in accountabilities, Prof. Oyana said, he would like to see the college conduct research and grow big rather than being blacklisted by development partners and donors.
The Principal said, the college has established itself in four principle areas of research where it draws credibility namely; the Sensing Technology, Artificial Intelligence, Human Computer Interaction research and Information seeking research.
He observed that sometimes researchers under estimate the reasons to be financially knowledgeable and hence the need for the training.
“Everything happens because of money. If you are a poor manager of your money, then, you cannot pursue the activities you set. So, financial responsibilities and discipline are very important if you are to be a good negotiator”, He said.
Motivated by the need to build a system that is prudent and robust and building an inclusive place to learn, work and succeed, Prof. Oyana shared his experience of what he has learnt as critical.
“First of all, know your financial status and spend within those limits. Never destroy someone’s credibility. I also recommend responsible financial discipline and not to go by peer pressure.
The minute you indicate a budget, you have controls. You don not shift budget items from other controls. If you want to spend and move items that are 10% and above, you need to get permission from the treasury”, Oyana advised.
The Principal also advised researchers to learn and follow the approval structures and policies, stick to their values and ethics and, ensure funds are used for intended activities. He advised scientists to strive for excellence and make good returns to those that entrust them with the resources.
Prof. Oyana extended the call for discipline in the laboratories on grounds that laboratories run on ethics and honesty. He stressed that it is good practice to follow scientific evidence because Science does not depend on rumours but on data and evidence.
Oyana also urged every researcher to have a research gap, be visionary and ensure laboratories have good practices and procedures and, provide data and scientific evidence to back hypotheses.
He reminded researchers that the primary duty of research is contributing to the body of knowledge and secondly to train and mentor young scientists to contribute to their knowledge.
Accountability procedures and approvals
Giving an overview of Accountability procedures and approvals, Mr. Lubowa Gyaviira represented by Mr. Tom Elwana underscored the need for researchers to know the regulations for accountability when planning.
Key Accountability procedures as extracted from relevant laws, policies and procedures that govern public financial management include but not limited to; Public Finance Management Act 2015; Universities and Other Tertiary Institutions Act; Treasury Instructions 2017 and; Makerere University Financial Manual 2014.
Elwana said accountability helps to establish whether the funds advanced were used for the intended purpose and whether all documentation relating to the accountability was presented for review.
Section 10 paragraph 10.20.11 and 10.20.12 of the Treasury Instructions, 2017, requires all advances to be retired as soon as the necessity for their use ceases to exist or within sixty (60) days upon completion of the activity or by closure of business of the last working day of the financial year in which the advance was issued.
“The Makerere University Financial Procedures Manual 2014 under section 4.6.4 enjoins staff to account for all advances received within 14 days of the completion of the activity and in any case not later than 60 days.
Failure to comply with standing instructions leads to the withholding further advances; Recovery from payroll; and or Disciplinary action in accordance with laid down procedures”, he said.
Elwana explained that staff advanced funds should follow the accountability and approval process from the unit accountant to the Internal Audit/examinations and compliance office which delivers to the Secretary Directorate of Internal Audit, who shall ensure it is stamped received, recorded in the register.
He said, a report for accountability must be attached and receipts indicating clearly amount of advance being accounted for while outstanding advances at end of year will be posted to the general ledger to make up the funds balance.
“Balances on advances not utilized at the end of the work/research should be surrendered to the Head of accounts and a receipt should be issued.
Failure to submit accountability will necessitate refund of all unaccounted for funds by the implementer.
After clearance of all accounted funds, a Journal Voucher (JV) is issued to show clearance of total amount accounted for,” Elwana emphasized
Submission of projects to GAMSU, a MUST for implementation of any activity
Elwana told researchers that all project PIs must not only register their projects and budgets with the Makerere University Grant Administration, Management and Support Unit (GAMSU) but also submit quarterly reports to this unit.
“GAMSU has an application and is calling upon PIs to submit their projects for capturing in their data. Failure to be captured, they may not implement their activities”, Elwana warned
Makerere University established GAMSU, which is tasked with the responsibility of overseeing all projects and grants within the university. This measure, Elwana explained, was an agreement with Government to allow the university oversee and receive the grants instead of the funds going directly to the consolidated fund.
The key responsibility of GAMSU is to ensure that reporting is streamlined within the university. GAMSU requires quarterly accountability reports from all grants and projects.
Submission of all budgets by all projects and grants is also mandatory as part of the accountability reports required by the University and Government.
As a matter of emphasis, on submission of accountability reports, PIs were advised to pay attention to their MoUs since different funders have different requirements.
Detailed presentations from the training follow below.
ICT Bootcamp for Vacists (P7, S4 & S6), Students & General Public
Makerere University, College of Computing and Information Sciences (CoCIS) is the main ICT training, research and consultancy Centre in Makerere University and the region. The College runs a Center for Innovations and Professional Skills Development (CiPSD), through which the College addresses various industrial challenges, like skills development, incubation of new ideas and nurturing of new technology-based business.
CiPSD has organised an ICT Bootcamp to equip participants with hands-on tech skills. Practical sessions are open to vacists (P.7, S.4 and S.6), Students and the general public.
DURATION : 2 Weeks – Instructor Led (Hands-on practical training)
Start Dates : 20th/11/2023 (P.7 & S.4 ) | 04th/12/2023 (S.6 & Others)
CERTIFICATE : Each participant will receive a certificate at the end of the training
BOOTCAMP REGISTRATION LINK : https://bitly.ws/X9kv
TARGET AUDIENCE :
- Vacists (P.7, S.4 & S.6)
- Anyone interested in acquiring hands-on tech skills.
- Microsoft Office Suite, Internet & Online Collaboration – 50,000/= (2 weeks)
- Programming/Dynamic Website Design, – 50,000/= (2 weeks)
- Graphics Design & Image Editing – 50,000/= (2 weeks)
- Networking & Systems Administration – 50,000/= (2 weeks)
- Computer Repair & Software Maintenance – 100,000/= (2 weeks)
- 3D Computer Animation – 50,000/= (2 weeks)
- Computerised Accounting – 350,000/= (3 weeks)
PAYMENT PROCEDURE: To book your slot, go to the Accounts Office, CIT Block A, Level 2, and get a reference number. Proceed to any nearest bank and deposit training fees.
The Center for Innovations and Professional Skills Development (CIPSD)
Block A – Front Office/Block B, Level 5
College of Computing and Information Sciences (CoCIS)
Tel: +256 753 200013/ +256 392 000180 / +256 782 512897
CoCIS CIPSD Short Courses Nov, Dec 2023 & Jan 2024
Makerere University College of Computing and Information Sciences (CoCIS) is the main ICT Training, Research and Consultancy Centre in Makerere University. The College has six Academic departments comprising of the Department of Computer Science, Department of Networks, Department of Information Technology, Department of Information Systems, Department of Library and Information Sciences, and the Department of Records and Archives management.
In addition to the mainstream degree programmes, C0CIS has a specialized Center for Innovations and Professional Skills Development CIPSD) which delivers state-of-art training in ICT e.g. the Cisco Networking Academy for Cisco related courses, the Microsoft IT Academy Program for Microsoft related courses, International Computer Driving License course, Oracle Certified Training center for Oracle, Linux and Unix Training center. The College is also an authorized Testing center, operating under PearsonVUE and Kryterion. Listed in the table below are the courses currently offered at the Center with their next start dates, duration, and cost.
- For SENIOR 4 & 6 VACISTS at affordable fees.
- Utilize your vacation and achieve an international certificate to help your future career and stand out from the crowd.
- Nov 2023 / Jan 2024 / April 2024 / July 2024 (For all courses)
Tel: +256 392 000 180
Mob: +256 782 512 897
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