The committee set up by KMFRI Management to develop the Institute’s Intellectual Property Policy (IPP) conducted a very successful session at Kisumu centre on 18th and 19th November 2021. This followed a similar exercise conducted in Mombasa on 3rd and 4th November, 2021. The outcome of the session in Kisumu was an elaborate draft KMFRI IPP document developed using guidelines for academic and research Institutions in Kenya as prescribed by the National Commission for Science, Technology and Innovation (NACOSTI) in collaboration with Kenya Intellectual Property Institute (KIPI). The 23 page draft Policy comprised 15 clear Articles and has proposed the establishment of KMFRI Intellectual Policy Management Office (IPMO) for consideration by the Board of Management.

Cross-section of participants during the KMFRI Intellectual Property Policy sensitization session in Kisumu

Similar to the session at Mombasa Centre, the exercise started by training participants on IPP and legal issues, which was conducted by staff from NACOSTI and KIPI. Participants from Kisumu Centre were: Dr. Christopher Aura, Mr. James Keyombe, Mr. Zablon Awuondo, Mr. Geoffrey Wafula, Mr. Patrick Otuo, Dr. Joseph Nyaundi, Mr. Morara Basweti, Mr. Naphtaly Mwirigi, Mr. Job Mwamburi, Ms. Pauline Onyango, Ms. Tabitha Onyango, Ms. Grace Manyala, Mr. Joshua Nyamao, Mr. Peter Wawiye, Mr. Joseph Mulukurwa, Ms. Julia Obbat, Mr. Richard Asuma and Mr. Hosea Kipkoech.

At the commencement of the exercise in Kisumu, the Committee Chair, who also chairs the Committee on Research Policy - Dr. Jacqueline Uku, welcomed the delegation comprising the participants representing various sections and departments at Kisumu Centre as well as the IPP Committee Members.  

Below is an excerpt from the Chair’s opening remarks.

Dr. Jacqueline Uku, IPP Committee Chair

“I wish to welcome all members to this capacity building session where we will be trained on Intellectual Property issues.  I recognize that majority of the work programmes at KMFRI are of intellectual nature and yet awareness on how best to harness and protect our creations, innovations and inventions is very low.  

I serve as the Chairperson of both Committees of Research Policy and Intellectual Property Policy. Members include Mr. Harrison Ong’anda (Secretary), Dr. Christopher Aura, Dr. Melckzedeck Osore, Mr. Patrick Gwada, Dr. Peter Odote, Dr. Nina Wambiji, Dr. Gladys Okemwa, Dr. Jacob Ochiewo and Dr. Charles Magori. Our vision as a committee is not only to review and revise the existing policies, but also to ensure their full implementation for the benefit of KMFRI researchers”. 

“We are very grateful to be here in Kisumu and wish to thank our hosts led by the Acting Kisumu Center Director, Mr. James Last, for the warm welcome. Our training begun in Mombasa and as we pass on the knowledge in Kisumu, we are happy to state that our aim is to finalize the draft policy by the close of this week. I wish to acknowledge the support of Mr. Godfrey Kalerwa from NACOSTI and Ms. Concelia Were from KIPI for providing us with technical support in the review of the KMFRI IPP. Our existing old policy was developed in 2010 and the new one will seek to incorporate best practices in this area”.

 

“The road map of the review process includes having further inputs from KMFRI researchers on the working draft pending finalization. As a committee, we are ambitious in our desire to uplift our work in this area so that KMFRI scientists and the nation at large can benefit from this product not only now, but also in the future”.