The World Intellectual Property (IP) Day is celebrated each year on 26 April and this year the theme is “Powering change: Women in innovation and creativity”. The World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO) has selected this theme to recognise and celebrate the contribution of women in driving global change through science, innovation and the arts.
UCT was recently granted a US patent for its maxillofacial distractor, a medical device for the reconstruction of the human upper jaw (maxilla). This device has been jointly invented by A/Prof George Vicatos of Mechanical Engineering, Dr Rushdi Hendricks who is a maxillofacial surgeon in private practice, and James Boonzaier while studying at UCT. Dr Hendricks recently completed a PhD related to this work.
The total income from IP commercialisation was R 3.78m and a total of 4 new UCT spin-off companies were formed, the highest ever in a year. 41 invention disclosures were received by RC&I and 72 new patent applications were filed at different stages of patenting (up from 67 in 2016) and 16 patents were granted.
Advantage Austria, the Technology Innovation Agency, Silicon Cape and RIIS are running an Open Innovation Challenge looking for innovative solutions in the area of agricultural water conservation and irrigation. All of the information is available on www.agriwater.org.za. Please note that the submission closing date is 15 March 2018.
Philip Hoekstra, UCT Intellectual Property Manager, was recently appointed to the International Committee of the International Technology Transfer Network (ITTN) based in China. The ITTN promotes International Technology Transfer through a variety of mechanisms, including matchmaking events and conferences. Of particular importance is the focus on BRICS countries and Philip will further serve as one of the South African representatives of their new BRICS Technology Transfer Cooperation Mechanism.
More than 50 delegates from BRICS countries met on 30 November 2017 in Kunming, China to participate in the first BRICS Technology Transfer Cooperation Forum and Workshop. The activities were part of the Kunming Summit of the China (Beijing) International Technology Transfer Convention. At the Kunming Summit, an action plan for a BRICS Technology Transfer Cooperation Mechanism was launched. The initial stage, which includes setting up a BRICS Technology Transfer Centre in Kunming, will be funded by the local Municipal Government.
The Water Research Commission has invited innovative solutions from Public and Private institutions as part of their Annual Water Accelerator Call. The Call is part of the Water Technologies Demonstration (WADER) Programme with the intention to identify and demonstrate innovative and sanitation solutions that will contribute to achieving the objectives of the National Water Research, Development and Deployment Programme (See here).
The time has come and gone for the Department of Science and Technology’s 2017 Innovation Bridge event. UCT participated alongside other champions in the National Innovation System to showcase locally produced innovations to industry, commercialisation partners and other interested stakeholders. Champions included higher education institutions, science councils and private organisations.
Innovation Bridge 2017 held in Midrand in Gauteng culminated in an award ceremony where there were five prizes for different categories. UCT was honoured to receive the award for the “Innovation most likely to reach national and international markets” for the technologies related to Additive Manufactured Medical Devices.
When third-year civil engineering student Nkosinathi Nkomo was unable to register for studies in 2017 due to a lack of funds, he decided to make the best of a bad situation.
Nkomo used his engineering knowledge to respond to Cape Town’s water crisis through a new business called AquaRenu.
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).