Safeguard your innovations for sustainability- Scientists urged

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Scientists, especially those in the agriculture sector, have been advised to safeguard their innovations through Intellectual Property (IP) to ensure sustainability. Dr Daniel Dzidzienyo, the Deputy Director, Administration, Teaching and Learning, the West Africa Centre for Crop Improvement (WACCI), University of Ghana, who gave the advice, said the processes involved in innovations required much resources and painstaking investigations hence the need to protect them to reap the benefits. 'If a researcher develops a seed variety to meet a need, it should be protected so others will not take undue advantage of it. Once that is done and the person is paid royalties, it can be plough back to researching periodically,' he said. Dr Dzidzienyo was speaking at the opening of a two-day workshop as part of the University's celebration of the Day of Scientific Renascence of Africa (DSRA). He stated that the royalties could also be used to develop new varieties to meet other needs. Each year, DSRA is marked to rec ognise and celebrate the vision, sacrifices, investments, tenacity and hard work of scientists in the nuclear and allied sciences. The workshop sought to engage industry stakeholders to provide input to improve curriculum to train students with requisite skills and knowledge to address the complex challenges of modern agriculture. The event also aimed at creating awareness among researchers and students on the importance of intellectual property for agricultural innovations. Participants would be equipped with tools and knowledge to navigate the complexities of intellectual property to drive growth of innovative agricultural businesses. Dr Dzidzienyo said protecting and managing intellectual property was crucial for fostering creativity and ensuring that innovations could be effectively commercialised and brought to market. 'IP's are becoming a big deal now globally. However, some researchers are often not knowledgeable in IP and do not take it seriously in our part of the world. We need to embrace this era of research and development, so we benefit from whatever is associated with it.' Dr Dzidzienyo urged scientists to seek assistance from professionals to safeguard their innovations. The Organisation of Africa Unity (OAU), now African Union (AU), in 1987 passed a resolution for the celebration of the Day of Scientific Renaissance of Africa (DSRA) on 30th June each year. The core objective of the celebration is to remind African governments and people about the critical roles played by Science and Technology in national development. This is also done in remembrance of the continent's great contribution to the rise and development of modern Science and Technology. Source: Ghana News Agency

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