The University of Zimbabwe (UZ) has proposed the crafting of an intellectual property law to protect researchers who are formulating new innovations in the country.

This comes as the drive to commercialise local research projects gathers pace.

UZ Pro Vice Chancellor – Academic Affairs, Professor Pedzisayi Mashiri said the Ministry of Higher and Tertiary Education has already initiated the law formulation process.

Professor Mashiri was speaking at the UZ Paperette Competition where engineering students showcased their innovations.

POTRAZ Director General, Dr Gift Machengete, said the window is still open for researchers and innovators with bankable projects to get financing under the Universal Services Fund to commercialise their inventions.

The annual UZ student paperette competition is organised by the UZ Faculty of Engineering and the Zimbabwe Institution of Engineers for engineering students to showcase their talent and research prowess.

Students who competed for honours were drawn from each of the six departments in the UZ Faculty of Engineering, namely: Mining, Metallurgy, Electrical Engineering, Mechanical and Civil Engineering, Geo-Informatics and Surveying, and Agricultural Engineering.

The initiative comes at a time the government is, through the promotion of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) subjects, pushing for industrialisation and modernisation in line with the African Union (AU) industrialisation agenda.