RCIPS current news
RC&I’s annual “Innovation at UCT” publication is now available as a download from the righthand panel. The theme of this year’s publication is “Elements of Innovation” and some really creative periodic tables were found (and used as section dividers) that are certainly very different to the most conventional depiction of the periodic table of elements.
RC&I hosted the annual Inventors Evening in September, where UCT Inventors are recognised for the invention and innovation achievements. New inventors received their “Inventor” coffee mugs, whilst those who had a South African patent granted during the course of 2016 received a South African patent certificate as well as a certificate of recognition from the National IP Management Office (NIPMO).
Dr Sudesh Sivarasu, senior lecturer in the Division of Biomedical Engineering, was recently awarded the 2017 Deputy Vice-Chancellor’s Award for Achievement in Innovation for his invention and innovation achievements in the field of biomedical engineering and his contributions to fostering collaborative innovation internally at UCT, as well as nationally and internationally.
On September 15th 2017, it will again be time for the Department of Science and Technology’s Innovation Bridge event. The event is seen as South Africa’s premier “Technology Matchmaking and Showcasing Event”. The event is aimed at enabling linkages and networking between South African and international innovators, industry and public and private technology development, and commercialisation funding partners. UCT’s Research Contracts and Innovation (RC&I) will be exhibiting several UCT innovation at Innovation Bridge. Come and meet us there to see our exciting innovations
Dr Llewellyn Padayachy, a neurosurgeon at UCT’s Red Cross Children’s Hospital, met medical device experts from SINTEF (Norway) and collaborated on the development of a device to measure intracranial pressure (ICP) non-invasively using ultrasound, based on his original idea. Excellent progress has been made and a new UCT/SINTEF spin-off company “Nisonic” has been established in Norway to use venture capital available in that environment to take the development through to commercialisation. Technology Innovation Agency (TIA) Seed funding will be used to perform the initial validation of the device in clinical trials which will be conducted in SA.
After being incubated for a number of years within UCT in order to determine its long-term viability, Cape Catalytix (Pty) Ltd has been formally incorporated now in 2017 as a spin-off company. The company will manufacture the catalysis test units that have been supplied by UCT to other institutions in South Africa for their research.
RC&I has produced hard copy laboratory notebooks a number of years, but especially in certain research areas an electronic notebook is now preferable. Following a survey by the eResearch Centre the preferred eLab Notebook is “OneNote”, which is available to the UCT community at no additional cost, as it is included in the Microsoft site license.
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”.