What kind of IP policy framework is likely to best promote effective university-industry linkages in Ethiopia, taking account of the specific circumstances of the country?
The role of IP in the transfer of knowledge from universities to industry has recently become an area of strong policy interest in developing countries. With the objective of promoting innovation-based economic growth as well as national competitiveness, some developing countries have passed laws promoting the commercialisation, via patenting, of results of publicly funded research by universities.
In Ethiopia, the Green Paper on Science, Technology and Innovation policy identifies management of IP rights at institutional levels as one of the strategies for building a development-oriented IP regime in the country. The emphasis of Ethiopian policy in this area is on emulation of the policies adopted in developed countries, such as the US Bayh-Dole Act, which prioritise IP commercialisation.
This study examines the current status of IP generated from publicly funded research in Ethiopian universities and seeks to understand which kind of IP policy framework would best promote university-industry partnership for the transfer of knowledge and technology. The study is based on the assumption that Ethiopian policies on IP from publicly funded research need to be appropriate to the Ethiopian context.