A centre for innovation and technology is set to be established to offer free services to national innovators who need to come up with new ICT-driven ideas.
This was disclosed by Kaliza Karuretwa, the Director General of investment climate and intellectual property in the Ministry of Trade and Industry.
She said this during a conference to sensitise stakeholders on the significance of the centre and intellectual property.
Karuretwa acknowledged that Rwanda is endowed with innovative people but lack adequate tools, which is an impediment to the country’s economic development.
“It has been a missing link, we have innovative and creative people but they do not have the tools to use.
“The centre will provide free access to research facilities among business operators, innovators, and all who will be in need of accessing information. What we want is to empower them because knowledge is power,” Karuretwa said.
The centre will be established in collaboration with the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO).
She noted that the government would provide the infrastructure to host the centre while WIPO would offer content, equipment, software, and a database.
Karuretwa further revealed that the centre would be established by mid next year, adding that the ministry is currently looking for an appropriate institution to host it.
A senior advisor to the assistant Director General of WIPO, Jean Paul Hoebreck, said that WIPO was ready to provide all the essential equipment for the centre. He added that there was still need for the government to sensitise nationals on IP rights.
Meanwhile, Rajeev Aggarwal, the Director of the Centre for Innovation and Technology Transfer at KIST, welcomed the establishment of the new centre saying that it would benefit the country, especially among innovative graduates.