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Meet the Team

Innovation Services

Dr Andrew Bailey
Senior Manager: Innovation

Andrew returned to his alma mater in 2007 to join RC&I, having worked at Mintek, AECI and the CSIR in a number of technology development and research management roles in the biomining, fermentation, bioprocessing and food fields. This often involved techno-economic feasibility studies, project management and the development of business plans for late-stage/pilot-scale research and development projects approaching commercialisation, as well as trouble-shooting for commercial operations. After completing a Programme in Financial Management, he also worked for the Dialogue Group which gave him valuable experience in sales and marketing, especially interacting with clients in the UK and USA in the financial services sector. Andrew has a PhD in Chemical Engineering from UCT and is a member of the Association of University Technology Managers (AUTM), the Licensing Executives Society (LES), and the Southern African Research and Innovation Managers Association (SARIMA) where he is an Executive Committee member.

Cynthia Best
Principal Intellectual Property Officer

Cynthia Best joined RC&I in 2001 at the inauguration of UCT Innovation, UCT's first formal technology transfer office. At the time she started, the UCT patent portfolio comprised three patent applications; it has now grown to a stage where she oversees the prosecution of more than a hundred patent applications and has been instrumental in the design and development of Leonardo, UCT's in-house developed Intellectual Property Management database that is used to track all these activities. Cynthia has built up wealth of experience through her interactions with a variety of patent attorneys firms and is involved in filing patent applications all over the world. She is also engaged in the on-going education and guidance of inventors in terms of UCT IP Policy, patent legislation and prosecution procedures.

Philip Hoekstra
Intellectual Property Manager

Philip joined RC&I in August 2013, having worked at Sans Fibres, Von Seidels Intellectual Property Attorneys, Optimal Energy and Frost & Sullivan. His particular experience includes the identification, screening and prosecution of patents and designs, patent searches, business consulting and market research. Philip has worked with inventions across a wide range of disciplines, including chemical, mechanical and electrical.

Philip has also been involved in benchmarking studies for clients at a number of well-known chemical companies in the areas of "blue sky" innovation, shared services and advanced materials innovation. He is particularly passionate about business and innovation in African countries and visited Nigeria in 2012 as part of a market research project.

Philip holds a Bachelor's degree in Chemical Engineering and has successfully completed the South African Patent Examination Board's Group 1 examinations, which included the subjects of Legal Framework for the Protection of Intellectual Property in SA, South African Patent and Design Law and Practice and Selected International Patent Laws. Philip has also completed the Southern African Research and Innovation Managers Association (SARIMA)'s first IP Commercialisation short course hosted by the Stellenbosch University in 2013. He is a member of SARIMA.

Minah Moncho
Senior Intellectual Property Officer

Minah joined RC&I in April 2013 as an Intellectual Property Intern and was thereafter promoted to Senior Intellectual Property Officer, both posts being sponsored by the National Intellectual Property Management Office (NIPMO).

Minah holds a BSc Honours degree in Biotechnology and a Masters degree in Bioinformatics completed from the South African National Bioinformatics Institute (SANBI). During her Masters program, Minah attended international conferences and was invited to the Welcome Trust Genome Campus by the European Bioinformatics Institute as a visiting researcher to receive further training. Most recently she was employed as an intern Bioinformatician at the Centre for Proteomics and Genomics Research (CPGR), where she analysed microarray data using different bioinformatic platforms. Minah has also attended numerous courses and workshops on bioentrepreneurship, which provided an introduction to intellectual property. She was also funded by the Technology Innovation Agency to participate in the Swiss-South Africa Advanced Bioentrepreneurship Programme which built up her expertise in new business development, assessment of business opportunities and business plan writing.

Francois Oosthuizen
Project Manager

Francois joined the RC&I team in March 2014, having worked at Tecmo Automation, Newcom Fluid Management and the NorthWest University CRCED. In this National IP Management Office (NIPMO)-funded post, Francois will rely on his expertise and experience to move projects through the innovation space so that ultimately IP emanating from UCT researcher can be successfully applied in industry / for the benefit of society. He will primarily be involved in the management of the UCT PreSeed Fund and UCT TIA Seed Fund and associated projects.

Francois has been involved in developing electronic control and data acquisition solutions for a number of years. This specific work gave him broad exposure to various industries and disciplines in the South African market. Evolving from Engineer into System Engineer and finally Technology Manager, Francois has gained “real world” insights and experience on deploying new IP in the South African and African market place.

Post graduate studies in engineering management and work done with international incubation companies has given Francois a passion for using technology to drive South Africa into the future. Using innovation and technology, living conditions in South Africa can dramatically be improved for lower income South African and Africans. It is this notion that makes Francois "tick".

Saberi Marais
Project Manager

Saberi Marais is a Technology Commercialisation Manager at UCT; where he focusses on assisting UCT researchers and innovators to commercialise their research outputs to realise their intended impact and a return for the University. He was previously employed at the Technology Innovation Agency as Head of the Seed Fund Programme, Acting Executive for the Agency’s Innovation Enabling Division and a Regional Business Development Manager. Saberi also has experience in innovation management roles for Stellenbosch University and the South African Medical Research Council. Saberi is also co-founder of Science Café Cape Town.

Saberi read his MBA degree at Stellenbosch University and completed his undergraduate and postgraduate degrees at UCT in Molecular and Cell Biology (Cum laude). Saberi’s work experience includes the management of innovation portfolios at institutions; developing IP protection and management strategies for projects; conducting technical and commercial due diligence of opportunities; the commercialisation of technologies; coaching professionals, innovators and start-up companies; securing funding for technology development and commercialisation; developing corporate governance; and designing and managing strategic programmes. Through his work he has collaborated with tech and non-tech business incubators, provincial and National government agencies and programmes, and businesses to assist local innovators to realise their impact. He is married, has two sons, a cat and 2 goldfish.