Cora de Groot
In this article in our series about structures at the NWU, we take a look at the Technology Transfer and Innovation Support office (TTIS), which is at the forefront of protecting IP.
The NWU is proud of its research and innovations, which are among the best in South Africa. In 2018 we achieved a score of five out of a possible five stars for innovation (among others) in the global Quacquarelli Symonds rating.
In 2017, the bibliometrics company Clarivate Analytics listed the NWU as one of the top five innovative universities in South Africa.
The TTIS office plays a pivotal role in maintaining the NWU’s ratings for innovation.
Protection is key
The NWU earned these accolades by making it a priority to protect the IP of its researchers and innovators. This IP includes all the commercialisable research findings and new technologies that the university and its employees have developed.
The TTIS office’s primary goal is to transfer university-developed IP from the NWU to existing companies or to new startup ventures for development and commercialisation. This is typically done through a licensing arrangement, where the IP can be commercialised as new products and services.
Headed by its chief director, Dr Janine Chantson, a registered technology transfer professional, the TTIS office also ensures compliance with the Intellectual Property Rights from Publicly Financed Research and Development Act, Act 51 of 2008.
Ready to help
“Our team has trained and experienced professionals offering a range of services to the university’s researchers and innovators, with the aim of ensuring effective technology transfer,” says Janine.
“Fundraising for technology development, commercialisation and start-up capital remains a core TTIS function, and for the moment the NWU’s central and unitary fund-raising function is also placed within TTIS.”
Some of the NWU’s commercialisation success stories include Afriforte, CFAM Technologies, Jonker Sailplanes, the Pheroid technology, CText, heat pumps (M-Tech), and TRADE Advisory.
WHO TO CONTACT FOR WHAT AT THE TTIS OFFICE
Dr Janine Chantson
Chief director: Technology Transfer and Innovation Support
TECHNOLOGY TRANSFER AND INNOVATION
TTIS - turning ideas into innovations
Protecting intellectual property (IP) matters. Unless ideas and innovations are protected, anyone can claim them for their own and the university, researchers and innovators will not reap the benefits of their hard work.