Minister of Education, the Hon Andrew Holness, has said that there is need for more attention to be paid to developing legislation on intellectual property rights.
Mr. Holness, who was speaking Thursday (January 28) at the start of Research Day at the University of the West Indies (UWI), Mona, said that, for too long, the country’s concept of economic progress has focused entirely on the development of physical property.
“Very little attention has been given to intellectual property and, just as how we have property rights for real estate and capital, we must now seek to protect rights for intellectual property,” he said.
The Minister said that once people start to create ideas that can go to the market, without the regulatory framework to protect their rights there is chaos that encourages them to go elsewhere to create that intellectual property.
Minister of Education, Hon. Andrew Holness (left), speaking with, from right, co-founder, Helping People to Walk Again, Joel Sadler, and Principal, University of the West Indies (UWI), Mona Campus, Professor Gordon Shirley, at the start of Research Day at Mona, Thursday (January 28).
“So, as a member of the Government, I am personally encouraging and pushing for the development of the regulations for intellectual property,” he stated.
Mr. Holness also suggested that universities, in general, should be the consulting arm of government, as governments should see them as producing for an investment climate, as well as for human resource needs.
“Investments are not just built around hotels or factories. Investments are built around good ideas. So, the university must be the supplier of marketable ideas that the government can purchase,” he explained.
Mr. Holness said there would be no need for government to subsidise universities, if they are able to create valuable intellectual property that the government needs to purchase.
The UWI’s Research Day is being held January 28-29, under the theme ‘Education for a better nation, a stronger region.”
It will feature over 100 exhibits, mounted at the Tent City, on the lawns adjacent to the Senate building, Mona. Tours will be conducted to the Faculties of Humanities and Education, Medical Sciences, Pure and Applied Sciences and Social Sciences, which are holding open days.
In addition, cultural and heritage tours of the Mona Campus are taking place, to introduce persons to its rich and varied past.