On 23 to 24 February 2023, ARIPO (Africa Regional Intellectual Property Organisation) together with WIPO (World Intellectual Property Organisation), held a regional meeting on developing the Regional Technology and Innovation Support Centres (TISCs) Network, in Harare, Zimbabwe.
According to WIPO, the TISCs concept was designed by WIPO based on its Developments Agenda. The main objective for the establishment of TISCs was to aid in enabling access to specialised intellectual property databases (primarily patent databases) and other scientific and technological resources. Essentially, TISCs provide innovators, amongst other stakeholders, such as, researchers, entrepreneurs, government officials, legal professionals, primarily in developing and under developed countries, with access to local technology information, including, patent databases; scientific and technical journals; trademark and industrial design information; information on industrial laws; information on technology commercialisation and marketing; searches on novelty, state-of-the-art and infringement, amongst others. WIPO supports the effective operation of TISCS together with the relevant countries’ industrial property authorities (About the WIPO Technology and Innovation Support Center (TISC) Program). Further, WIPO maintains an electronic database or directory of TISCs in different countries(Directory of Technology and Innovation Support Centers (wipo.int), and the centres generally operate from industrial property offices; academic institutions such as universities; research centres; business and commerce organisations, etcetera.
It is reported that the meeting between the two bodies was to discuss, the current status of TISCs network in the ARIPO member states; actions that have been taken by the TISCs in the member states to promote and to bring awareness of the TISCs’ services to the public; as well as WIPO’s recent developments and resources for TISCs.
Based on the inputs from the participants, TISCs are seen as significant and an effective tool in supporting local innovators in developing countries in their research and the development, and exploitation of innovation; and ultimately, in the protection and enforcement of intellectual property rights.