Groundbreaking initiative empowering Southern African universities in tech transfer

In a great step towards advancing technology transfer capabilities across Southern Africa, a pioneering initiative has been launched to provide experiential learning for technology transfer practitioners from the Southern African Development Community (SADC) region.

The World Intellectual Property Organization, in partnership with the Southern African Research and Innovation Management Association and the Japan Patent Office, initiated an immersive eight-week training-on-the-job programme based at South African offices of technology transfer (OTTs).

The North-West University’s (NWU’s) Technology Transfer and Innovation Support (TTIS) office, a well-established OTT, proudly hosted two participants, Tharusha Naidoo-Maistry, manager of the Innovation and Technology Transfer Research office at Sol Plaatje University, and Mohlatlego Sebola, acting manager for technology transfer at the Sefako Makgatho University.

Following the training, the participants will apply their newfound knowledge to facilitate, support, and advance technology transfer functions at their respective home institutions, contributing to the broader technology transfer and innovation network.

Mohlatlego thanked the TTIS team for hosting the training-on-the-job participants and encouraged the office to continue availing themselves again for collaborations in the future.

“This opportunity has left me feeling inspired. It has been a pleasure working with TTIS and sharing best practices to enhance and strengthen our intellectual property skills to help fulfil our strategic objectives,” said Tharusha.

This groundbreaking initiative comes at a crucial juncture, as outside of South Africa, the technology transfer profession in the SADC region is still in the nascent stages of development. Many universities in the region are primarily focused on building their research capacity and research management infrastructure, often lacking practical knowledge, skills, and experience in technology transfer.

Dr Janine Chantson, chief director of the TTIS, believes that this initiative will significantly bridge the gap and foster a culture of robust technology transfer practices in the SADC region.

Discover more:…


From left are Mohlatlego Sebola, Doug Sanyahumbi and Tharusha Naidoo-Maistry.

Submitted on Thu, 10/26/2023 - 12:18