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Technology Transfer in Action in Southern Africa

Technology Transfer in Action in Southern Africa

Submitted by Efua Halm on Tue, 30/01/2024 - 08:22

Empowering Southern African Tech Transfer: WIPO's On-the-Job Training Program

The World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), in collaboration with the Southern African Research & Innovation Management Association (SARIMA), the Japan Patent Office (JPO), and South Africa’s National Intellectual Property Management Office (NIPMO), successfully concluded the "Technology Transfer On-the-Job Training Program" (OTJ). This pioneering initiative, designed to enhance technology transfer (TT) within the Southern African Development Community (SADC) region, serves as a practical and impactful example of technology transfer in action.

he Program provided 12 selected TT practitioners from Botswana, Malawi, Namibia, Zambia, and Zimbabwe, with an invaluable 8-week experience in South Africa. Working closely with experienced TT professionals at South African Technology Transfer Offices (TTOs), participants gained firsthand insights into the daily operations and strategies of successful TTOs at universities like North-West University, Stellenbosch University, University of Cape Town, University of Johannesburg, University of South Africa, and University of the Western Cape.

The effectiveness of the program is largely attributed to the commitment of the South African host TTOs, as they generously shared their time and expertise. Beyond training, the initiative fostered a collaborative community among participants, encouraging networking with peers and stakeholders. Now equipped with enriched expertise, participants are ready to apply their knowledge to enhance TT functions within their home institutions.

It's crucial to highlight two significant facets of the initiative moving forward:

  • Replication: First, there is definite interest in exploring the potential to replicate this OTJ training model to other contexts and regions, with the aim of enhancing TT skills and ecosystems on a global scale.
  • TTO Network: Second, the overarching goal is to foster a lasting community where participants can rely on each other for guidance, resources, and collaboration long after the program's conclusion. To achieve this, efforts are underway to introduce a mentoring program and an online TTO networking platform, modeled after the WIPO TISC platform.

Let’s celebrate the success of this initiative and explore the practical outcomes of the OTJ through an exclusive video presentation, featuring feedback from SADC participants.