Uganda Technology and Management University (UTAMU) successfully held its 6th International Conference on Technology and Management (ICTM-20) in joint partnership with Uganda Industrial Research Institute (UIRI).
The conference provided a distinctive environment where authors, practitioners, researchers, professionals and academicians engaged in discussions on the future developments in terms of service provision.
Held from 7th to 9th September, 2020, at UIRI Skills Development Centre in Namanve, Industrial area, the conference was organized under the theme, “Towards the Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR) Advancement and Solutions: Trends, Issues, Best Practices, Benefits and Challenges for Management and Governance in Africa”.
Speaking at the conference, Prof. Sadiq Yusuf, the Vice Chancellor UTAMU called on the public to embrace “The Fourth Industrial Revolution” and use it to build solutions that address real business needs which is more important than ever.
“The Fourth Industrial Revolution is already here with us. The technologies, that ushered it in, such as artificial intelligence, genome editing, augmented reality, robotics, and 3-D printing, are rapidly changing the way humans create, exchange and distribute value,” he said.
“It is time for business leaders, institutions and organizations (Governmental and non-governmental) across the globe to weigh-in on the progress and participate in finding solutions to the emerging issues slowing down the digital progress in Africa,” Prof. Sadiq emphasized.
Speaking the launch, The Deputy Executive director Dr. Dick M Kamugasha who represented Executive Director appreciated the relationship between UIRI and UTAMU saying, “It is rooted in common interests, notably commitment to promoting technological advancement and innovation in Uganda.”
He noted that the theme of this Conference is informed by the fact the world is rapidly moving towards fully embracing the Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR) which is fundamentally altering the way we live, work and relate to one another. Key elements of the 4IR that will soon be indispensable to all of us include, Artificial Intelligence (AI); Virtual and Augmented Reality; Digitization; Automation and Robotics; Cloud Computing, Big Data, Advanced and Predictive Analytics; the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) and many other emerging technological frontiers.
Dr. Kamugasha advised that it is these elements that will increasingly form the foundation for accelerated socioeconomic transformation in Africa in the future and therefore, the Conference could not be more timely.
In attendance was also the Mr. Patrick Mugisha, the Assistant Commissioner Department of Innovation and Property Management at Ministry of Science Technology and Innovation who advised Ugandan researchers &innovators to properly register their ideas, research products and services for patent rights to protect their rights from potential perpetuators.
He mentioned that Uganda is still ranking poorly on the global innovation index and Intellectual Property (IP) management mainly because they lack awareness about the subject.
“You could take 15 years trying to innovate a product and once it is done, another person will copy the same product, alter a few things and register it as their own product or idea. That is why, researchers, innovators and producers have to take IP management seriously because it determines how much you will gain from your product financially,” he said.
Prod. Sadiq added on saying protection of researchers and innovators is sometimes hard because they lack funding for their ideas and are often on the mercy of funders.
The conference which was held both physically and virtually was attended by several participants including government officials, academic, researchers, students and civil society online.