The launch of the University’s Intellectual Property Management System was held on January 17th 2023, at the Senate Boardroom under the Patronage of the Vice Chancellor Senior Professor Pathmalal Manage.
The system, the first of its kind among the university technology transfer offices in Sri Lanka, revolutionizes the process of patents and licenses, enhancing efficiency and transparency for innovators, researchers, and students alike. The event was attended by Prof. Thusitha U Abeytunga, Lead Academic Expert at AHEAD Operation – Ministry of Higher Education, Dr. Nilushi Nugara (Co-Chair – Innovation, Invention and Venture Creation Council of the University), Shanuki Gunasekera (Operations Officer, IFC), Rathnija Arandara (Senior Operations Officer, IFC), Dr. Chameera Udawatta (Director – USJ Tech Transfer) and distinguished academics of the university. This initiative was supported by the International Finance Corporation with support from the government of Japan.
In his address, the Vice Chancellor highlighted the efforts of the university to support research and innovation. Some of the key achievements highlighted include the establishment of the Research Council, AHEAD operation support, and the UBL (University Business Linkage) Cell / USJ Tech Transfer. He particularly acknowledged the efforts of previous UBL officers as well as the current UBL team, led by the Director – UBL Cell Dr. Chameera Udawatta. The university currently leads in IP ownership among public sector universities in the country, with 83 patents. The Vice Chancellor emphasized the importance of creating an environment where innovative ideas thrive, ultimately benefiting both the academic community and the industry.
The new IP management system is expected to facilitate transparent tracking of the IP process from submission of Invention Disclosure Forms (IDFs) to submission for registration to the National Intellectual Property Office (NIPO).
Professor Thusitha U Abeytunga, Lead Academic Expert at AHEAD Operation – Ministry of Higher Education, in her address, stressed the need for a holistic strategy to support research and innovation, as well as the importance of educating the academic community on intellectual property rights.
Dr. Udawattha outlined efforts taken to streamline the patent process, introducing transparency through the new system, as well as the intent to extend its benefits to other universities. He encouraged scientists to submit innovations, emphasizing the need for disruptive technologies with international market potential. The streamlined patenting and licensing processes are expected to create an environment conducive to innovation and position the university as a leader in research and development.
The university’s Innovator’s Club was also launched during the event, highlighting the renewed focus of guiding students to focus on innovation, and protection of intellectual property from undergraduate level.