It is interesting that most gadgets or tools used by people in the world have begun as just small ideas and developed to something great. A television set, a computer and the telephone are some inventions by those with great minds nowÂ Â popularly used worldwide. But how can an invention become ready for commercialisation.
Experts say an invention is an object, process, or technique which displays an element of newness. It may at times be based on earlier developments, compositions, processes or ideas. Usually the ideas develop into what may be used by many in the world. Inventions of such things as the light bulb, or the car began as just ideas by some people in the world.
There are some people who are gifted with coming up with new ideas, while some with interest in developing innovations may not know where to start from.
ZBC News managed to talk to Chinhoyi University of Technology School of Business Sciences lecturer Nicholas Kakava who described how developments or new ideas end up in the market. Kakava says the first stage is coming up with the idea.
â€œDevelopments must not end at development stage, but they should appear on the market. Experts call it from laboratory to village commercialization concept. The first stage is when one comes up with the idea which is written to come with a concept. The concept is tested and a prototype is developed,â€ said Kakava.
When the product is ready for commercialisation the owner of the idea has to get a patent. Experts describe a patent as a set of exclusive rights granted by a state to an inventor for a limited period of time in exchange for a public disclosure of an invention.
The procedure for granting patents and the requirements placed on the patentee, vary widely between countries according to national laws and international agreements.
Zimbabwe Association of Inventors President Ignatius Nyongo says there is need to concentise the inventors of the need to patent their inventions so that the idea is not taken, or stolen by some other people who might sell the idea for money at the expense of the inventor.
In Zimbabwe an inventor has a patent for a period of 20 years. Zimbabwe has its own inventors who have come up with ideas which have become useful for the economy.Â Such inventors include individuals such as Lovemore Mukono, and institutions like the Scientific and industrial research and development centre SIRDC, and Churchill Boys high School which came up with a power inverter.
SIRDCâ€™s Electronics and Communications Institute expert Professor Xavier Carelse says he has come up with laboratory equipment for schools.
The Ministry of Science and Technology DevelopmentÂ encourages and supportsÂ inventions which contribute to the growth of the industrial sector.