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.
UCT Inventors will be receiving personal patent portfolio reports in the near future, but please email us if you would like your one now.
The patent reports are typically useful for updating your CV, or for NRF ratings. The report lists all the patent families that you are listed as an inventor on, as well as the application dates, status and territories involved.
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).