Bandar Seri Begawan - The commercialisation of Intellectual Property (IP) is very important to further the development of Brunei Darussalam's knowledge-based economy and has a direct effect on economic growth.
Dato Paduka Awang Haji Ali bin Haji Apong, the Deputy Minister at the Prime Minister's Office and Chairman of the Brunei Economic Development Board, said this yesterday while delivering his keynote address as the guest of honour at a talk which was held at Universiti Brunei Darussalam.
"Intellectual Property or IP and commercialisation are two very important concepts in today's ever competitive, technology-driven world," he said. "IP is fast being recognised as a power tool for economic development and wealth creation."
With the establishment of the Patent Registry Office, and the implementation of the Patents Order, both taking place this year, Dato Paduka Awang Haji Ali said that Brunei Darussalam now has the requisite framework and protection to push its innovation, and more importantly, its innovators.
The Patent Registry Office is also used as a platform to educate Brunei Darussalam on intellectual property, on its procedures, on its capabilities to broaden markets, on its benefits to the innovator and to the economy, he explained.
"With this important milestone, we can now unleash the power of innovation in Brunei Darussalam, and allow it to lead the way in spurring new growth for our economy, our society and our community.
"As Brunei Darussalam journeys into becoming a player in the IP world, we must first educate ourselves on the importance of IP, on what patents are, what is patentable, what should be protected and how it can be protected," stressed the Deputy Minister. "We must educate ourselves on IP so that we become knowledgeable on the trade of IP, heading towards a culture that respects and makes the most out of IP."
Dato Paduka Awang Haji Ali highlighted that the recognition of the potency of IP as a source of economic, social and cultural dynamism will ensure that we can prosper in today's world.
"Understanding IP will ensure that the public sector, regulators and policymakers formulate their policies and programmes with a view to optimise the use of, and respect for, IP rights," he explained.
"Responsiveness to the potential of IP will help the private sector leverage the value of its IP assets and recognise the value of upholding IP rights in industries and economies that are increasingly more knowledge-based."
Awareness of IP will ensure that the public understand the benefits of purchasing legitimate goods and services, thereby boosting local industries and local businesses, he said, adding that the absence of such an appreciation of IP culture can reduce creativity and inventiveness resulting in a less-conducive business climate ultimately with a less-progressive economy
Yesterday's talk, in which the Deputy Minister delivered his keynote address, took place at UBD's Institute of Leadership, Innovation and Advancement (ILIA) and was entitled, 'Universities as Engines of Economic Growth - Entrepreneurship in Academia'.
In his keynote, Dato Paduka Awang Haji Ali also stressed the importance of academic institutions in the entire commercialisation process, which he described as being "difficult", saying that "it takes time".
"Academic institutions like UBD can provide launch pads for innovators to form and test-bed their ideas," he said. "Universities and academic institutions are critical to the development of innovators as they allow innovators to fully use their imagination, without any limitations of procedures or guidelines that sometimes restrict those already in the workplace.
"Success in commercialisation depends on how a university interacts with the industry Universities must create bridges with the industry, so that what is learnt in lecture theatres is applicable to the real world."
In this respect, the Deputy Minister applauded UBD for taking steps to ensure this.
Continuing on his point of commercialisation, he said that it will also depend on the innovation ecosystem, both inside and outside of the university describing research conducted in universities as fostering innovation, ensuring economic opportunity and creating jobs.
Another important factor in the capacity for growth for any inventor or entrepreneur rests in their ability to raise capital, spur additional research and development, and ultimately bring their ideas to the marketplace.
"This means that innovators must develop new products with commercialisation in mind," he said.
Universities hold within them those people who have the potential to change the world, which makes the role of universities so vital to the survival of an economy, as universities are one of the most obvious platforms of innovation in any country.
He said that any novel ideas of entrepreneurs from the UBD campus have the potential to move the pulse of an industry or transform the welfare of a community.
"Innovators, inventors and universities are one set of building blocks of an innovation ecosystem," said the Deputy Minister. "On the other end of the scale of the innovation ecosystem are funding, a supportive intellectual property system and close collaborations with government agencies and the private sector.
"When all these building blocks come together, innovators and entrepreneurs benefit as they will be able to learn best practices, spark new partnerships and learn tricks of the trade," he continued.
"This way, we will all create greater capacity in facing the challenges of today's world - the challenges of a new reality that we all live in; to keep pace with the speed of technological advancement; to make economic progress in a highly competitive global environment; and ultimately to sustain our livelihood in Brunei in a world of rapid changes," he added.--Courtesy of Borneo Bulletin