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Alumni & Friends Support

UCT's mission states inter alia that UCT aspires to become the premier academic meeting point between South Africa, the rest of Africa and the world. Taking advantage of expanding global networks and our distinct vantage point in Africa, we are committed, through innovative research and scholarship, to grapple with the key issues of our natural and social worlds. Our Academics, researchers and students are indeed living this mission through their innovative research - from drug compounds, to new crop varieties, nanotechnology and medical devices, they are agents and catalysts for new ideas, creating solutions that contribute to our country's competitiveness and improve the quality of life of its people.

In 2020 our theme was inflection point, the point of a curve at which a change in the direction of curvature occurs. A decisive moment that changes the course of history and marks the start of significant change. Our inflection point has been driven by the near doubling of our Innovation Team during 2020, through the support of Department of Science and Innovation’s (DSI) National Intellectual Property Management Office (NIPMO), and significant enabling changes in our funding environment. Following the establishment of UCT’s Evergreen Fund, which invests in UCT spin-off entities, an Innovation Builder Fund was established to mature research outputs and in addition UCT participated as a special partner in the launch of the SA SME Fund’s University Technology Fund which came into being in January 2020. See our innovation activities through the publication of the Innovation at UCT 2020 booklet.

However, we believe, with the assistance and contribution of our Alumni and Friends, we can do much better in turning our inventions into innovations, i.e. something that has proven economic and social value. Research Contracts & Innovation provides a range of services to support the commercialisation of research and is seeking to establish an Alumni and Friends Innovation Network that can contribute to these activities.

The contribution can be in time, knowledge or contacts in the market place. Involvement with any specific opportunity will be by invitation and Alumni may decline at any time - importantly a financial contribution is not required for participation in the Alumni & Friends Innovation Network.

Three overlapping and related networks are envisaged to facilitate the different modes of interaction and you can sign up for one or more of them. Local, national and international Alumni and Friends can participate in any of these networks, as much of the interaction will largely be electronic.

UCT Alumni & Friends Innovation Supporter

This network will maintain contact with Alumni and Friends who have an interest in innovation and enterprise activities at UCT. Participants in the Supporter's Network will be alerted to opportunities to assist UCT entrepreneurs (students, staff or both) with general advice and mentoring.

UCT Alumni & Friends Innovation Champion

Innovation Champions will work more closely with a specific enterprise, providing more active mentoring and advice often on an ongoing basis. A Champion may even be selected to become a non-executive Director in a start-up company or for the more entrepreneurial to fulfil the role of CEO.

Innovation Champions may also be invited to participate in discussion forums or strategy workshops that will draw on their specific areas of expertise.

UCT Alumni & Friends Innovation Investor

Members of this network will donate financially to UCT's Evergreen Seed Fund and will be provided, as appropriate, first sight of investment opportunities in UCT spin-out companies arising from UCT research. Details of the Evergreen Fund are discussed here.

Interested in supporting our activities?

Complete the form that can be downloaded from the right-hand panel above. Contact details for more information are also provided on the form.