RCIPS current news
22 May 2017 was once again time for the annual Southern Africa Research and Innovation Management Association (SARIMA) conference, which was held in Windhoek, Namibia this year. The event was well represented by different academic, government and private institutions from the SADC region, and beyond. The event was very successful and Dr Andrew Bailey from RC&I received the Award for Distinguished Contribution in Innovation Management for contribution to the profession.
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”.
The UCT GSB Venture Incubation Program Winter School creates a supportive and enabling environment for entrepreneurs to test and validate new business models. The 12-week, mentor-led program starts 1 September 2017 at the UCT Graduate School of Business in Cape Town, South Africa. The UCT GSB is looking for founders who are hungry, disciplined, coachable, doers and have a desire to contribute to our community as a whole, YOU SHOULD APPLY. http://bit.ly/2prFTMy
RC&I recently held an exhibition to commemorate the World Intellectual Property Day on the April, 24th and 26th, 2017 at Medical School and on Upper Campus, respectively. The theme for this year was “Innovation – Improving Lives”. In line with this year’s theme, we showcased some of UCT’s cutting edge technologies that have been invented by our research community that improve the quality of our lives.
Accelerate Cape Town has championed an initiative to connect seasoned business professionals in Cape Town with growing local start-ups. Accelerate Cape Town obtained support from 50+ mentors in the Cape Town region and connected them to companies located in three Cape Town business incubators for an initial pilot phase. The incubators involved are LaunchLab in Stellenbosch, the MTN Solution Space at the UCT GSB, and Grindstone Accelerator by Knife Capital.
UCT’s Research Contracts and Innovation office presented a collection of inventions developed by UCT researchers in celebration of World Intellectual Property (IP) day.
Last year, in response to a series of rapes, attacks and murders in the Cape Town area, UCT graduates Rowan Spazzoli, Tsakane Ngoepe and Louis Buys conceptualised a wearable safety device called The Guardian that would alert security services, the police and others close by if the user was in danger.
An exciting new antimalarial drug candidate is active across the entire parasite life cycle and holds great promise as a single-dose cure.
UCT has claimed two prizes in the African Excellence Awards 2017, which celebrate excellence in public relations and communications. In the Science and Education category, UCT achieved first place for The South African Child Gauge 2016.