The role of the University in Protecting and Creating Value from Indigenous Knowledge
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In this paper we present the experiences and results found during the first phase of an action research program being conducted in Nicaragua. The research aims to find successful ways and methods that the university can work and create relationships with indigenous communities that can result in mutual benefits. The aim is that the indigenous community can benefit by getting support in finding value in their traditional products so that they can find additional income (even commercial success) for their community. And the university can benefit in being able to research and document their experiences – in order to define new models and methods of working with the indigenous communities that results in mutual respect and goals, and clear agreements. This learning can be then used in their teaching, and diffused further in the world of complicated relationships surrounding IP and indigenous communities.