Dr. Abdalla Alnajjar, President of the Arab Science and Technology Foundation (ASTF) said that under the auspices of His Highness Sheikh Dr. Sultan bin Mohammed Al Qasimi, Supreme Council Member of the UAE and Ruler of Sharjah, and the Honorary President of the Arab Science and Technology Foundation, ASTF is organizing in cooperation with the Licensing Executives Society – Arab Countries (LES-AC), the second international annual Forum on patents licensing and technology transfer in the Arab region on November 28-29, 2011, in Sharjah, in the United Arab Emirates. The theme for this year’s Forum will be the “Opportunities for Protecting and Marketing Inventions 2011”. Among the main participants in the Forum are: the Federation of GCC Chambers of Commerce, Industry and Agriculture, Talal Abu-Ghazaleh Organization, and the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia (ESCWA).
Commercialization of inventions from the “Death valley” to “Technology Valley”
Dr. Abdalla Alnajjar added that the Forum, at its second session this year, will seek through a group of experts, jurists, economists, industrialists, businessmen, academics, and representatives of venture capital and risk funds and companies, to link inventions to the needs for them in the Arab societies, particularly to the economic needs, and mainly in the area of industry and investment.
Dr. Abdalla Alnajjar, President of the Arab Science and Technology Foundation, stressed that the creative Arab minds are able to contribute to the production of knowledge and economic development, and are not limited to importing technology entirely from the West. He praised the role played by the LES-AC in partnership with the Foundation in this area. He stressed that the best way to invest and make use of the invention, is not to protect it through obtaining the patent only; yet the real success for any invention lies in its investment at the industrial level, Stating that the existing inventions should come out of the “Valley of Death”- from the drawers, laboratories and offices- to be invested in the “Valley of Technology,” for they are now dead treasures that are not yet invested to serve Arab economies and societies.
Dr. Abdalla Alnajjar added that the invention is a commercial and investment opportunity, and very often its owner does not appreciate its value, and therefore the need emerges for specialists. He underlined the leading role of the Forum that aims to provide the right climate for marketing inventions, through an Arab observatory for their marketing, to be administered by the Foundation in cooperation with LES-AC, to evaluate the viable investment value of inventions’ patents, and to present them to bold venture capital funds and companies, while preserving the property rights to their holders.
Increase awareness of Arab inventions
On his part, Dr. Talal Abu-Ghazaleh, LES-AC Chairman, stressed the importance of partnership between the Society and the Arab Foundation, which comes in line with the professional responsibility of each of them, in connection with the dissemination of awareness among Arab industrialists, businessmen, technology developers , inventors and investors, regarding the protection and marketing of inventions, and strengthening of cooperation between the academic institutions and the economic and industrial sectors.
Dr. Abu-Ghazaleh added that the Forum’s agenda this year covers the various legal and strategic aspects for the protection and investment of inventions, in an attempt to transform the invention into a realistic product available in the market that provides a new technology, so as to offer a new product for the Arab consumer, or to develop an existing product in the market, in terms of quality and price.
He also stressed that this Forum represents a form of support for economic development in the Arab countries through strengthening the Arab experts’ capacities, providing a catalyst climate to link the industrial companies, industries and the universities in the Arab countries and to achieve economic growth.
It is noteworthy to mention that the Bahraini capital, Manama, hosted the first forum on Opportunities for Licensing and Technology Transfer on November 23rd in 2010, held under the auspices of the Bahraini Minister of Industry and Commerce Dr. Hassan Fakhro. The Forum discussed several issues related to licensing strategies and technology transfer, and it came up with a roadmap that included: the organization of the Forum on an annual basis in cooperation with the Arab Foundation for Science and Technology and other parties, the emphasis on the need to develop laws and policies for licensing and technology transfer in the Arab region, and the attraction of partners from capital venture institutions, as well as supporting governments to enhance creative participation to create inventions.