UNIPORT, NOTAP signs MOU to develop Oil and Gas Technology Park

The University of Port-Harcourt (UNIPORT), Rivers State, in the South-South zone of Nigeria has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the National Office for Technology Acquisition and Promotion (NOTAP) to facilitate the development of Nigeria’s premier Oil and Gas Technology Park among other high points of the MOU.

The MOU was signed at the UNIPORT Campus in Port-Harcourt when a delegation from NOTAP led by the Director General, Engr. Umar Bindir visited the Vice-Chancellor of the university, Prof Joseph Ajienka during the activities of the school’s 1st Annual Research Fair and Conference.

By virtue of the MOU, UNIPORT and NOTAP are to evolve efficient methodologies for the development of the Port-Harcourt Oil and Gas Technology Park as well as encourage the development of other technology corridors that may be identified within the sub-region.

UNIPORT had, therefore, accepted to act as the co-ordinator of NOTAP in the South-South for the actualization of the mandates of the agency in terms of refocusing Research and Development (R&D) results in universities, institutions of higher learning and research institutes in order to meet the entrepreneurial needs of the people.

UNIPORT is also expected to facilitate the promotion of Intellectual Property Rights (IPRs), link R&D results to industry, create opportunity for the establishment of technology based Micro Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) from start-up and boost innovation, creativity and research activities through the Intellectual Property and Technology Transfer Office (IPTTO) established by NOTAP in the University.
The two collaborating institutions agreed to create a South-South zone for technofair/exhibition where universities, polytechnics, colleges of education and private institutions could showcase their respective technology advancements and innovations. They also agreed to build awareness on IPR in the zone through the organization of workshops and seminars, increase the number of patents, inventions and innovations, copy rights, trademarks and trade secrets, as well as attract more funds for R&D and boost innovation and creativity especially among the youths.

Engr. Bindir said at the event that a vibrant Science, Technology and Innovation (STI) system was the master key to development and that NOTAP was committed to the transformation of Nigeria from an import dependent economy to a technology driven and productive economy. He added that the agency is faithfully implementing its Science and Technology Parks Programme as one of the cardinal projects for the actualization of governments transformation agenda and for the attainment of Vision 20:2020.

He stated that NOTAP is also anchoring governments drive for the establishment of the African Premier Science, Technology and Innovation Corridor (APSTIC) along the Lugbe – Airport Road in Abuja, the Federal Capital Territory(FCT).
The DG commended the Vice-Chancellor of UNIPORT for his innovativeness and determination to make the institution a centre of excellence not only in learning but also in R&D.
In his address, Prof. Ajienka said UNIPORT is on a mission of becoming an entrepreneurial university as a paradigm shift from the traditional mission of teaching, research and community service.

According to him, “An entrepreneurial university is based on the foundation of creativity and innovation to generate knowledge and transform knowledge into technologies and techniques to improve the quality of life of our people.”
The VC disclosed that as a token of its commitment to becoming a functional entrepreneurial university, UNIPORT was the first in Nigeria to establish the ‘Office of Deputy Vice-Chancellor Research and Development’ to drive and coordinate research, creativity and innovation.

Prof. Ajienka regretted that Nigeria had not benefitted much from the commercialization of research results because most institutions lacked the relevant infrastructures such asTechnology Parks, intellectual property culture and commended NOTAP for establishing the Intellectual Property and Technology Transfer Office’s (IPTTOs) in tertiary institutions as well as embarking on the Technology Park Programme.