Focus on IP Management

Ana Beatriz Benatti

At the virtual roundtable, we spoke with IP specialists from Ghana, South Africa, Kenya and Germany about opportunities, experiences, strategies and best practices.


The event made it clear that despite the different contexts in Germany and Sub-Saharan Africa, the strategic and operational challenges of IP management are similar and require holistic thinking and integrated management in both countries.


Dr. Ludwig Witter, head of the IP Management (IPM) department at KIT, presented the IP policy at KIT by breaking down the knowledge transfer process – from technological innovation to commercialization – and described the tasks of his department: identifying and protecting IP rights, negotiating licenses with industry, but also offering guidelines and support.


Ayanda Noma, Director of the DITTC (Directorate Innovation, Technology Transfer and Commercialisation) at the University of South Africa, presented a similar institution whose mission is to take innovative ideas and turn them into marketable products. This includes incubation programs, training for researchers, and special projects such as accelerator programs for women in green tech.


“The University of Ghana is also committed to the effective and efficient transfer of technology for the benefit of society,” emphasized Diana Adobea Owusu Antwi, Research Development Officer at the University of Ghana. At the young university, IP management means protecting researchers and fostering innovation. The university primarily supports inter- and transdisciplinary transfer efforts, for example in the field of climate or malaria research.


Mungai Muturi, who as Incubation Manager at the Kenyan innovation center iHub helps academic innovators across Africa develop their research-based solutions and products, summarized the exchange: “Raising awareness about intellectual property and property rights is an important endeavor around the world. But today we also saw the importance of sharing ideas across national borders.”


The event was part of the TECHimpulse program. TECHimpulse is part of the modular TECH4Transition program of the KIT-Gründerschmiede

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