IP Scouts at UCT
Intellectual Property Scouts
After a successful pilot in 2009, the IP Scout initiative is being rolled out to other departments that are "IP Hotspots" with the help of NIPMO funding to support the initiative. The departments of Chemistry and Electrical Engineering participated in the pilot. Prof Gerhard De Jager is currently an IP Scout for Electrical Engineering.
The concept of "IP Scouts" has been developed by RC&I and is aimed at providing researchers in specific departments with a person within their department who is knowledgeable about IP management practices at UCT and who can speak to them in their own "technical language".
The IP Scouts engage with staff and postgraduate students to raise the level of IP awareness and to identify protectable IP so that timeous action can be taken to file a provisional patent when warranted, ahead of publication, so that both patenting and publishing objectives can be achieved.
This has become increasingly important with the introduction of the IPR Act.
The IP Scouts provide a 'first point of call' for the department on intellectual property issues and UCT's procedures and the IP Scouts have been equipped with detailed information from a series of seminars that they have attended.