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SA News | 30 March 2023

The use of technology commercialisation can contribute to economic transformation through the introduction of diverse new products and services in the market.

This is according to Deputy Minister of Trade, Industry and Competition Fikile Majola who was addressing the Fourth Intellectual Property and Technology Commercialisation Colloquium on Wednesday at the North-West University.

Majola said a well-designed and well-performing intellectual property regime could improve the innovative capacity and competitiveness of the economy.

“Intellectual property is one of the key interests in the quest for growth, development and competitiveness in the digital world.

“Advancement in knowledge as broadly conceived is a key driver of economic prosperity in the twenty-first century. The linkage of intellectual property and economic development contributes to international economic integration and more rapid innovation,” Majola said.

The Deputy Minister said the country must move towards the creation of a new economic environment in which the management of knowledge plays an essential part in the creation of wealth and sustainable jobs.

He said South Africa needs to embrace the Fourth Industrial Revolution as part of the ongoing economic recovery plan and to advance the industrialisation agenda.

The Department of Trade, Industry and Competition (the dtic) and the Department of Science and Innovation co-developed the National Technology Commercialisation Strategy (NTCS) with the intention to accelerate commercialisation of locally developed novel technologies within South Africa and in foreign markets.

This can ultimately result in the creation of new products, as well as the establishment of new businesses and industries, which can serve as a base for a full-scale localisation and industrialisation.

Majola indicated that it was important for policymakers to ensure that practices and policies targeting improvements in the regime were consistent with and integrated into a larger effort to improve policies.

“I am made aware that the dtic and the North-West University are in the process of concluding a Memorandum of Understanding that outlines strategic areas of collaboration.

“These are inclusive of regular training and awareness raising on the importance of intellectual property protection and commercialisation. I am happy that among the areas of focus, this Memorandum of Understanding will also include the development of production capacity for small, micro and medium enterprises (SMMEs),” the Deputy Minister said.

The Deputy Vice Chancellor of the North-West University, Professor Jeffry Mphahlele, announced that towards the end of 2022, the university received news from NIMPO based on the second survey of Intellectual Property and Technology Transfer.

The survey employed specific indicators that government and its stakeholders use to measure the capacity, outputs, targeted outcomes and ultimately impact of publicity funded research and development.

“It was a huge honour and great pleasure for the NWU to be ranked amongst the top three revenue earners amongst higher education institutions for 2012 and 2017 and top five revenue for 2018. The recognition affirms the cutting-edge research and innovation capacity at NWU and the fact that NWU is a leader in IP creation and commercialisation,” Professor Mphahlele said.

‘Disclaimer - The views expressed here are not necessarily those of the BEE CHAMBER’.


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