A national workshop on ‘Developing Intellectual Property (IP) Generation, Management and Commercialisation in Mauritius’ opened, this morning, at the Hennessy Park Hotel in Ebène, in the presence of the Minister of Land Transport and Light Rail, Minister of Foreign Affairs, Regional Integration and International Trade, Mr Alan Ganoo.
The Ambassador and Head of Delegation of the European Union (EU) to the Republic of Mauritius and to the Republic of Seychelles, Mr. Vincent Degert, was present on the occasion.
The workshop, organised jointly by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Regional Integration and International Trade and the European Union, aimed at sensitising stakeholders, namely entrepreneurs, researchers and the academia, who are involved in the development of intellectual property, on the use of their creation as a means to generate revenue through the commercialisation of their IP-protected product. A team of four experts, supported by the EU, had scheduled, during the workshop, two panel sessions on the generation of IP at universities, and commercialisation of IP from a private sector and research institution perspective.
In his address, Minister Ganoo underlined the objectives of the workshop which were namely to promote the generation of intellectual property rights, protect the creation of the mind and use the registered right to earn more revenue upon sale of the creation. “This is a new mind-set which Government wishes to encourage,” he affirmed.
The Foreign Affairs Minister underlined that Government remained conscious of the need for Mauritius to constantly reinvent itself to be able to compete globally, attract foreign direct investment and increase the share of IP-generated revenue in the balance of payments. He said that reinventing competitiveness was even more necessary today in light of the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on the economy. According to Mr Ganoo, the country’s future lay in research, development and innovation, and the aim of Government was to support innovative entrepreneurs, artists or creators, whose inventions would drive the future development path of Mauritius.
Moreover, the Minister expressed gratitude to the EU Delegation in Mauritius for the strong support provided to the Government to implement the main recommendations of the National Intellectual Property Development Plan. “The Plan,” he informed, “was elaborated in cooperation with the World Intellectual Property Organisation, and included recommendations regarding the adoption of a new comprehensive industrial property legislation, conducting a comprehensive capacity-building programme, and enabling the integration of IP into national and sectoral development policies.”
He recalled that the new comprehensive Industrial Property Act, adopted by the National Assembly in 2019, was now fully operational and encompassed a package of measures that rendered the Mauritian intellectual property system more responsive to the needs of the economy. “The law,” stressed the Minister, “denotes the commitment of Government to create an investment-friendly environment and transform our economy into a dynamic one.”
Furthermore, the Minister announced that Government would soon review the structure of the Industrial Property Office to create an empowered ‘Industrial Property Office of Mauritius’, which would have a more prominent role in mainstreaming IP in all aspects of economic development.
As for Mr Vincent Degert, he congratulated the Government of Mauritius for the achievement made and added that, as Mauritius was about to celebrate its 54th Independence Anniversary, it was timely to focus on IP as the next stage of development. “Intellectual Property,” he said, “is at the heart of any country’s success and is poised to promote trade and investment, drive economic growth and competitiveness, and help the economy to grow and mature.”
He also spoke of the benefits of Mauritius having a strong IP framework through patents, copyrights, design rights, trademarks, amongst others, that would enable companies to compete more successfully in domestic and foreign markets. “If Mauritius is to fulfil its potential for IP development, it is then essential to establish an environment that allows companies to operate effectively and safely across borders,” he stated.
In addition, the EU Ambassador underlined that EU’s support to Mauritius would enable the country to access international treaties that would bring more clarity in IP framework and transform Mauritius into a competitive and innovative hub in the region.
Mauritius is conducting a comprehensive capacity building program to ensure the effective and efficient implementation of the new Industrial Property Act 2019, that entered into force on 31 January 2022.
This project was initiated in January 2020 and has since been pursued by the consultants, in spite of the Covid-19, to draft regulations under the Industrial Property Act 2019, prepare training manuals on various IP-related topics and conduct a comprehensive capacity building program for the benefit of numerous stakeholders from different sectors of the economy.
Distributed by APO Group on behalf of Republic of Mauritius.