On World Intellectual Property Day, which falls on 26 April, twelve researchers of the University of Malta were recognised for their inventions having been granted a patent. Their achievement was commemorated through the presentation of patent grant certificates by UM Rector, Prof. Alfred J. Vella.
The inventions range from engineering, to science, built environment, medical and biomedical technologies and are registered in several regions including the EU, the USA, Canada, Brazil, China and Japan.
Through the Knowledge Transfer Office, the University actively and systematically supports to seek patent protection of inventions with commercial potential. A granted patent provides exclusivity for 20 years to the owner or a future licensee to use or sell the said invention in the protected countries.
The principal investigators of the patented inventions are:
- Prof. Ing David Zammit Mangion
- Dr Ing. Marc Anthony Azzopardi
- Dr David C. Magri
- Prof. Ing. Philip Farrugia
- Prof. Giuseppe Di Giovanni
- Prof. Ing Jonathan Borg
- Dr Christian Camenzuli
- Prof. Joseph N. Grima
- Prof. Kristian Zarb Adami
- Prof. Spiridione Buhagiar
- Prof. Tonio Sant
- Prof. Vincent M. Buhagiar
Prof. Alfred J. Vella congratulated the inventors, and emphasised their important role in showcasing the power of innovation that has the potential to improve the lives of many, not just locally, but across the globe. Upon expressing his wishes that by this time next year there will be more inventions worthy of a granted patent certificate, he hoped these serve as an inspiration to other researchers.
Pro-Rector for Research and Knowledge Transfer, Prof. Ing. Saviour Zammit, remarked how each of these inventions have gone through a rigorous examination process by various patent offices to establish their novelty and originality, which are requirements for grant. Their collective effect on the quality of academic research is something the entire University community should be proud of. This ceremony, he added, shows not just how original and excellent research is at the university, but also how many of the ideas conceived are worthy of commercialisation and have an impact.
Mr András Havasi, Technology Transfer Manager at the Knowledge Transfer Office, explained that patents are relatively new to the university, considering that the first patent application by the University was filed 17 years ago, which is less than a patent’s maximum lifetime. Havasi spoke of how patents are important milestones on a long journey of an invention from the lab to making a real impact in our lives. He also invited the awarded researchers to extend their motivation and encouraging words to other researchers who wish to engage in knowledge transfer activities, in which case they should contact the Knowledge Transfer Office.