14 September 2018

Zimbabwe: Hit Establishes a Technology Transfer Center

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The Harare Institute of Technology (HIT) has founded Zimbabwe's first ever Technology Transfer, Commercialization and Licensing Centre (TTCLC), a facility designed to specifically manage the university's Research, Development and Innovation outputs.

The Centre is responsible for technology transfer in terms of commercialization of inventions and discoveries, tech-licensing and building of patents.

The facility will also manage business ventures including joint venture partnerships and venture capital for all the potential projects which are going to be produced by the Institute's various departments of learning.

TTCLC is the hub for venture mentoring services and establishment of a cross-functional technopreneurship forum. The main role of the center is to manage the University's Intellectual Property and Innovation Policy. Its major roles will also include advising on the synthesis and extraction of registrable Intellectual Property from staff and student projects.

The TTCLC is currently working on the alignment of Policy Formulation documents which are required for the protection of the Institute's Intellectual Property such as Non-Disclosure Agreement (HIT-NDA) for both staff members and students.

Some of the policy documents under final review include Royalties Sharing Agreement (HIT-RSA), Invention Disclosure (HIT-ID) and the Institute's Student Project Copyright Agreement (HIT-SPCA).

The review of the HIT-IP Policy is expected to be completed by the end of the Second Quarter. The purpose of the review is to enable the referencing of the policy with the supporting agreement forms that are currently being developed.

The alignment of the university's aforementioned policies with the Intellectual Property Policy will enable the ease of establishing Business Startups, Licensing, and Management of research outputs.

The TTCLC has so far overseen the coordination of the Institute's 100 Day Projects. A total of 23 projects were carried out by different Schools and Centers of Excellence with seven flagship projects being reported on weekly basis to the Ministry of Higher and Tertiary Education.

Some of the managed projects include the Forensic Laboratory, Billing System for Local Authorities, Transformer Project, Innovation and Digital Thinking Laboratory, Production of Refractories, Production of Continuous Power Supply Units for TelOne and Beneficiation of Lithium to Lithium Carbonate.

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