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

This was said by the Deputy Minister of Trade, Industry and Competition at the Fourth  Intellectual Property and Technology Commercialisation Colloquium hosted by the Department of Trade, Industry and Competition (the dtic), in partnership with the Companies and Intellectual Property Commission (CIPC), Department of Science and Innovation (DSI) through the National Intellectual Property Management Office (NIPMO), and North-West University. The colloquium was held at the North-West University, Mahikeng campus from 28-29 March 2023, under the theme Advancing Innovation through IP Commercialisation for Full-scale Industrialisation.

According to Deputy Minister Majola, a well-designed and well-performing intellectual property regime can improve the innovative capacity and competitiveness of the economy. Importantly, 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.

“We 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.

He added that the dtic and 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. The strategy, he said, outlines key interventions with initiatives to support the acceleration of newly developed technologies.

“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,” said Majola.

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 SMMEs,” said Majola.

Majola also took an opportunity to encourage the leaners to respond to the mantra that the future is in their hands. He encouraged them to be inclined with matters of public life, innovation and technology.

The Deputy Vice Chancellor of the North-West University, Professor Jeffry Mphahlele was pleased to announce that towards the end of 2022, the North-West 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,” said Professor Mphahlele.

The Deputy Minister of Trade, Industry and Competition, Mr Fikile Majola addressing the colloquium at the North-West University.

Bongani Lukhele – Director: Media Relations
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Issued by: The Department of Trade, Industry and Competition (the dtic)
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