The Medical Device Design course in the Biomedical Engineering (Health Sciences) was launched in 2015 and the course convener is our serial inventor, Dr Sudesh Sivarasu. An important aspect of the course is the assessment of the patentability of the devices that the students elect to design. The RC&I team gives annual presentations to the Medical Device Design course students, covering a range of topics, including: an overview of IP, patents, copyright; the patent filing process; prior art searches using the database TotalPatent, various case studies from previous years, funding opportunities within UCT and strategies for product commercialization. The students present their devices and patentability findings to RC&I later in the year – getting the opportunity to put what they have learnt into practice.
Professor Karen Sliwa’s first exposure to peripartum cardiomyopathy (PPCM) was in 1992, while she was training as a specialist physician at Chris Hani Baragwanath Hospital in Johannesburg. She noticed that the face of her daughter’s nanny, Othilia Mahlangu, was swollen every morning. She examined her, but beyond recognising that it was clearly a heart problem, Sliwa said she could not imagine what was ailing her. She took her to the cardiology clinic at Baragwanath where a cardiologist immediately diagnosed her with PPCM.
Congratulations to Joshua Clegg and Theshen Thaver who are the winners of competition at the recent World IP Day Exhibition. Joshua and Theshen are first year electrical and civil engineering students, respectively and hope to continue through to post graduate studies in their chosen fields. IP awareness raising directed at undergraduates is an invaluable because they are tomorrow’s researchers, so teaching them about the importance of IP protection at this stage already shapes their minds with a “think, protect and innovate” mind-set, with the goal being to positively impact society through their research and education.
RC&I collaborated with UCT’s Centre for Bioprocess Engineering Research (CeBER) and Tyron Grant of IP law firm, Spoor & Fisher, to hold an infosession on IP and innovation with a focus on biotechnology and life sciences. This was another UCT initiative to commemorate World Intellectual Property Day 2017, themed “Innovation – Improving Lives”.