The University of Trinidad and Tobago (UTT), as an academic institution, has prioritized the discovery and development of entrepreneurs and the commercialization of research and development to spawn companies for wealth generation and the enhancement of life in our nation. In this regard, the University engaged in exploratory discussions with the Intellectual Property Office (IPO) of the Ministry of the Attorney General and Legal Affairs seeking beneficial joint ventures that would benefit our entrepreneurs, academics and student body.
The IPO is responsible for the grant of intellectual property rights and the administration of all IP laws in Trinidad and Tobago. One of its prime mandates is the promotion of inventiveness among citizens of Trinidad and Tobago. Toward that end, the IPO is seeking to establish an Intellectual Property Academy within the IPO with the assistance of the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO). The synergy with UTT’s function is very close as Intellectual property is seen as a key asset of the University. UTT via its business accelerator uSTART is actively developing opportunities for students to become entrepreneurs based on the full lifecycle from development of idea, business plan, proof of concept, incubation and introduction into the marketplace and production and sales. Intellectual property is created by most companies, whatever business they are involved in. For many of these organisations, intellectual property is even their most important asset. Safeguarding this possession is therefore vital and can offer SMEs many opportunities.
Each year WIPO designates April 26th as World Intellectual Property Day to promote discussion of the role of intellectual property in encouraging innovation and creativity. The UTT through its Entrepreneurship and Business Development Office has supported the local IPO by hosting the celebrations of this event for the past two (2) years. The theme for 2017 is “Innovation – Improving Lives”.
The signing of the Memorandum of Understanding between the UTT and the IPO will promote continued cooperation between the two institutions in the field of intellectual property; and the national development of IP via training programmes and public outreach, which ultimately will improve the lives of creators and those who consume creative works.