Prof Tania Douglas, SARChI Chair in Biomedical Engineering & Innovation, has been named as one of 30 Quartz Africa Innovators 2018. Prof Douglas is recognised for driving innovation that revolutionizes healthcare - from mobile diagnostic applications to non-tech strategies aimed at tackling the stigma of conditions such as hearing loss.
RC&I has recently developed a useful map which gives an insight into the entrepreneurial ecosystem around UCT. Our various UCT spin-off companies are plotted on the map as well as the various business accelerators and incubators.
The 2018 series of Café Scientifique will be held in the last quarters of 2018 and early in 2019 at the Chemical Engineering Building (Upper Campus, UCT). Selected themes will explore impact of measurements and metrology, neurosurgery, molecular biology and infectious diseases, and ICT4D. The events kick off with a presentation by Prof Andy Buffler on 18 September 2018 entitled “Impact of Measurement”.
The prevailing need in South Africa is for sustainable economic development through the creation and growth of jobs and the support of new businesses to provide goods and services. The University of Cape Town has responded to the call from the Department of Higher Education and Training to host a series of events and activities that would contribute to this discussion.
A standard Material Transfer Agreement (MTA) was published in the Government Gazette on 20 July 2018, along with a statement signed by the Minister of Health, Dr Aaron Motsoaledi, indicating that the MTA needs to be used by all providers and recipients of materials for use in research or clinical trials that are conducted under the auspices of registered Health Research Ethics Committees.
Gokul Nair and Giancarlo Beukes were one of two teams put forward by South Africa to compete against other BRICS countries in the BRICS Young Innovator Competition that was held recently. They placed second which included prize money of R210 000 and a Huawei Honor 9 Lite Smart Phone.
A new set of “Outbound” and “Inbound” materials disclosure forms have been created and are available from the RC&I website as downloads. These forms ask key questions that ensure that the Contracts Manager can draft the appropriate Materials Transfer Agreement, or ensure that an agreement that the provider of the materials sends to us matches with the anticipated use of the material by the UCT Researchers.
Universities are conducive to innovation, as researchers and students dedicate themselves to the act of problem-solving through research. Over the past few years, UCT has been central to an array of practical innovations that have been implemented to better the lives of ordinary people. In many cases, women have been taking the lead.
On 26 April, we celebrate World Intellectual Property Day and – importantly – this year, we’re focusing on the women who are driving change through ingenuity, curiosity and courage.
A collaboration between biomedical engineers and a clinician at UCT has led to the design of an assistant device for metered-dose asthma inhalers that will improve ease of use for children and the elderly. Aptly named the Easy Squeezy, the device dramatically reduces the force required to activate the pump. It also aims to minimise the stigma associated with using pumps by adding decorative cartoon characters for young patients.
UCT’s Medical Devices Lab is fostering an ecosystem of innovation.And the fruitfulness of its teaching practices, founded on ideas of Frugal Biodesign, is being proven in the form of biomedical engineering graduates Gokul Nair and Giancarlo Beukes.
Both alumni of the medical device design course, they have teamed up to form Impulse Biomedical – a company presently incubated in the Medical Devices Lab. The pair are working on commercialising the ZibiPen, a reloadable adrenaline auto-injector, along with other technologies that were developed in the lab.
Jessica Fell and Dr Dyllon Randall of the Future Water Institute will fly the UCT flag as 2018 UNLEASH talents at this global innovation lab in Singapore later this month.
This lab, now in its second year, brings together 1 000 top young talents (aged between 20 and 35) from around the world who come together to create real, scalable solutions to the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) on food, water, health, education, energy, urban sustainability, responsible supply chain, and so on.
The first contract logged on our system was for work that was undertaken for a pharmaceutical company on bioequivalence of one of their generic products. The work was conducted by the Division of Pharmacology and Professor Helen McIlleron was the Principal Investigator. This 2001 contract was signed by our current RC&I Director as in his then role as Research Contracts Manager, of the Office of Industry Liaison (OIL) Department of Research Development.
The 30,000th contract was logged in May 2018 for Contracts Manager, Naseema Sonday and with amazing coincidence the Principal Investigator is once again Prof Helen McIlleron! In this case the contract relates to an addition to a Consortium Agreement that is being entered into with Medicins Sans Frontieres. To date (end May) a total of 1111 new contracts have been logged for the Contracts Managers to review wince the commencement of 2018.