The World Intellectual Property (IP) Day is celebrated each year on 26 April and this year the theme is “Powering change: Women in innovation and creativity”. The World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO) has selected this theme to recognise and celebrate the contribution of women in driving global change through science, innovation and the arts.
UCT was recently granted a US patent for its maxillofacial distractor, a medical device for the reconstruction of the human upper jaw (maxilla). This device has been jointly invented by A/Prof George Vicatos of Mechanical Engineering, Dr Rushdi Hendricks who is a maxillofacial surgeon in private practice, and James Boonzaier while studying at UCT. Dr Hendricks recently completed a PhD related to this work.
The total income from IP commercialisation was R 3.78m and a total of 4 new UCT spin-off companies were formed, the highest ever in a year. 41 invention disclosures were received by RC&I and 72 new patent applications were filed at different stages of patenting (up from 67 in 2016) and 16 patents were granted.
Advantage Austria, the Technology Innovation Agency, Silicon Cape and RIIS are running an Open Innovation Challenge looking for innovative solutions in the area of agricultural water conservation and irrigation. All of the information is available on www.agriwater.org.za. Please note that the submission closing date is 15 March 2018.