CIPIT’s bi-annual moot competition aims to be innovative and to attract teams from across East Africa, and the 2018 edition was no exception. This year’s edition was particularly significant being the first moot in Sub-Saharan Africa to focus on Information Technology(IT) Law. The 2018 moot problem addressed the complexities of innovation, privacy and data protection in jurisdictions that operate in a legal vacuum with respect to data privacy. Therefore, participating students were able to interact with the topics of privacy and data protection and grapple with the ambiguities these cutting-edge issues pose in the legal field. This was also an excellent opportunity for CIPIT to highlight the trickle- down effect of innovations to the recurring concerns of data protection, and to nurture the interest of the young generation in IT law and policy.Continue reading
On 28 February 2018, the Centre for Research in Art, Humanities and Social Sciences at the University of Cambridge continued its seminar series on ‘Open Intellectual Property (IP) Models of Emerging Technologies and Implications for the Equitable Society’. The topic of the seminar was ‘Open IP in emerging and developing economies’ where the goal was to examine whether emerging and developing economies have an opportunity to take a radical approach to intellectual property (and also collaborative innovation practices) when it comes to areas like manufacturing, green tech, biotech and computing/artificial intelligence. If so, what could that look like and what would it mean for equitable and sustainable development? The speakers during this seminar included: Elisabeth Eppinger (Freie Universität Berlin); Kenneth Huang (National University of Singapore) and Valeria Arza (CENIT). The presentation made on behalf of Open African Innovation Research (Open AIR) was on our on-going work on open and collaborative innovation in and around high-tech hubs in Africa, particularly if/how they are using IP to facilitate openness.
by Njeri Waweru**
The Internet of Things (IoT) is becoming a more integral part of the evolution of technology. It refers to a system of interrelated computing devices, objects, mechanical and digital machines that are provided with unique identifiers and the ability to transfer data over a network. It serves many different industries including healthcare, manufacturing, logistics and home and consumer electronics. The agricultural sector would benefit greatly from the evolution of IoT.
Kenya’s vibrant technology sector is known for its innovations in software. The successes of M-PESA, a widely used mobile money transfer platform, and Ushahidi, a global crowdsourcing mapping app, has drawn international attention to the Kenyan startup scene. Supporting the startup scene are a number of tech hubs, incubators, and accelerators.
Software, however, can only be as innovative as the hardware it runs on. A growing network of makerspaces are training Kenyan innovators in the knowledge and skills to manufacture disruptive hardware solutions. What is the story of makerspaces in Kenya? What supports are available for hardware-based innovators? How effective are these makerspaces at promoting innovation? What methods are innovators using to share and protect their ideas?
#KOT, #SomeonetellCNN, #Someonetelltheworld, AkiraChix, Bitange Ndemo, Digital Kenya, Erik Hersman, iHub, innovation, Judith Owigar, Kenya's tech scene, KINGS of African digital economy, Nairobi, Palgrave studies of entrepreneurship in Africa series, Silicon Savannah, Tech entrepreneurship, Tech innovation, tech scene, Technology hubs, Techpreneur, Tim Weiss
The editors of Digital Kenya: An Entrepreneurial Revolution in the Making describe it as a ‘book of arguments and ideas’ and this blogger agrees with this analysis. Published in 2017 and originally published in 2016, a copy of the e-book is freely available under open access. The focus of the book is Kenya’s entrepreneurial revolution in the tech sector. Digital Kenya is authored and edited in a very interesting way; 14 key figures in the Kenya’s tech startup scene were interviewed (including Jay Larson, co-founder of the Tunapanda Institute discussed in a post here) and they provide a unique insight into the inner workings of the Kenyan tech scene and what it takes to be a digital entrepreneur, in addition the book was written by professors, contributors and scholars and edited by Bitange Ndemo and Tim Weiss.
Africa, Bruce Berman, Entrepreneur, intellectual property rights, Knowledge and skills sharing, Non-disclosure Agreements, Open AIR, Open Innovation, Protecting innovative ideas, Start-ups, Tech innovation, Technology hubs, Trade Secrets
The world today is flooded with good ideas. Some come from large, mature, well-organized companies. Some come from basement startups. Many are innovative. Some are brilliant. Most die a lonely death, never seeing the light of commercial success. Excerpt from Bruce Berman’s ‘From Ideas to Assets: Investing wisely in intellectual property.
A lot has been said about intellectual property (IP) and innovation in Africa. As pointed out in a previous post here, some argue that failure of tech innovators to protect IP would serve as an investment disincentive thereby affecting economic development. On the other hand, the Open AIR research network has with numerous examples, successfully put it out there that innovation in Africa is thriving in the absence of IP. Perhaps another perspective here would be to examine whether this could be true for tech innovation happening in an open environment.
For the purposes of this post, innovation is the process of bringing valuable new products to market- from idea/concept formulation stage to the successful launching of a new or improved product. In the African tech scene, the process involves a lot of idea sharing, partnering in concept development, pitching competitions, and knowledge and skills sharing. And as quoted above, Bruce Berman points out the reality that while a lot of new ideas are born, most die without ever seeing the light of commercial success. In this post, I consider whether the non-use of IP mechanisms to protect ideas in the open tech environment could be a reason why most ideas die without reaping full benefits, if any. The biggest bashers to this proposition would say outright that intellectual property rights do not protect ideas. Well, I invite you to think again.