Five Ghanaian researchers at the Institute of Industrial Research of the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research were on Thursday honoured by the World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO) for their creativity and innovations.
The five, Dr William Owusu Oduro, Maame Adwoa Bentumah Sagoe, Kofi Ampomah-Benefo and Joyce Koranteng were honoured after being adjudged winners in a competition jointly organised by WIPO, the Registrar General’s Department of Ghana and Korean Intellectual Property Office (KIPO) in August 2012.
They took the first position with their innovation on how to make wooden products from plastic waste and sawdust.
Others who were honoured are Rowland Noamesi and Gabriel Boateng-Appiah who are also researchers from the GRATIS Foundation who were adjudged the second runner up with their manufactured mechanical cassava harvester.
The third position was taken by Mr Patterson Osei-Bonsu, who was also a researcher with the Crop Research Institute, CSIR with the manufacture of a modernised ‘Fufu’ pestle.
The first category award winners were presented with plague from WIPO and cash amounts of $1,250.00 the second group received a plague and cash of $750. 00, and third placed team also received a plague and a cash of $500.00.
The award winners would also pay a working visit to South Korea for their achievements.
Mr Omar Katbi, Head of Outreach Services Section, WIPO, said in all 29 entries were received with six of them been short listed from which the three winners were eventually selected.
He said WIPO had organised similar competition in the Philippines, Malaysia and Ethiopia in an effort to strengthen and support patent rights among inventors in those countries.
He said the objective of the competition was to encourage and reward excellence in innovative solutions to frequently recurring problems in our society with solutions that utilise technologies appropriate to local conditions.
He noted that innovation and economic trends indicated that a nation’s ability to generate wealth and protect its cultural heritage depended on its support to inventors, innovators and entrepreneurs and in its knowledge of the Intellectual Property (IP) system.
Mr Katbi, who is also the Head of Communications Division of WIPO, said WIPO which is one of the specialised agencies of the United Nations was at the forefront of efforts to ensure that rights of innovators and inventors were recognised, rewarded and protected worldwide.
“The degree to which inventors and creators can harvest the value of their IP, depends largely on the existence of a nurturing policy environment to help both the actual and potential users of IP to develop, protect, use and manage it as an economic asset”, he said.
Mrs Grace Issahaque, Principal State Attorney, noted that the IP landscape in the country was set to change in some few years due to reforms currently going on in the IP sector.
“The passage of the revised IP Bill and regulations by Parliament and the approval of the National IP Policy and Strategy by Cabinet would give a significant boost to the IP regime in Ghana”, she said.
She expressed her appreciation to WIPO and the Korean IP Office for their initiative and called for a sustained relationship between the country and these organisations.
Participants also used the occasion to discuss the need for the use of appropriate technologies in inventions and the protection of Intellectual Property.