Like any other universities world-wide, the Copperbelt University (CBU) has identified Research, Innovation, Consultancy and Entrepreneurship as cornerstone for national, regional, and international economic development. In its quest to make a contribution towards the knowledge based and innovation-driven economy, technology transfer and commercialization of the research products, the CBU established the DRIC on Wednesday, 13th December, 2016. In order to strengthen the commercialization of its research products, the university under DRIC also established a Technology Management Office (TMO) to help it translate its research outputs into inventions and innovations. This is consistent with the mission of the University. The mission statement is: “to contribute to the development and sustenance of the wellbeing of the people of Zambia and the world through the provision of flexible, innovative, entrepreneurial, and inclusive programmes of teaching, learning, research and service”. The TMO set up in December 2016 has the following functions: manage Intellectual Property (IP) assets; evaluate the commercial potential of an invention; determine patentability of research output; undertake patent search and completing applications for patents output; protect commercial development of inventions and creations; process and safeguard relevant IP agreements; and negotiate and manage licenses.
The DRIC oversees the TMO and through School Research Coordinators, it monitors and manages all university research programmes and activities. In addition, the DRIC also formulates policies relating to research, publications, IP and Plagiarism.
Research and Innovations
The Director for Research and Innovations, under the office of Vice-Chancellor coordinates and monitors all research programmes of the University. The responsibility of the Director is to ensure that research activities are conducted in accordance with the University’s policies. Hence this gives the Director an enormous task to ensure that relevant Policies such as the Intellectual Property Rights Policy (IPR), Plagiarism, Publication to name but a few, are timely provided for approval by the University.
The developing world needs various industrial tools to be used in agriculture, health, mining, engineering, communication, etc., in order to produce goods and services for citizens’ consumption. These goods and services can be more effectively produced through intensified basic and applied research. It is therefore, important for higher and tertiary education and training institutions to invest in constructive and productive research. It is encouraging to see the University actively involved in various research projects in collaboration with local and international organisations.