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Innovation and Technology Transfer Support
Technology Transfer Office (TTO)

The main goal of technology transfer (the transfer of technology developed by university researchers to the private sector) is to improve national economic growth through greater technological innovation. Technology transfer contributes directly to technological innovation by supplying the private sector with new technologies that have commercial potential. While businesses look forward to the prospect of receiving new products and services, universities are motivated by the potential income stream from successful licensing agreements, and greater employment opportunities that graduates may have with industry partners. University faculty and students are also motivated by the potential income they may derive from commercialization of their inventions, as well as the satisfaction from seeing their inventions put to good use (often for the public good). In return for support of policies that encourage technology transfer, the public benefit from social utility of new products and services that derive from commercialization of university inventions, form new ventures and new jobs creation, and by the overall growth in the economy
New legislation in the form of a ‘Technology Innovation Agency Act’ (Act 26, 2008) and an   ‘Intellectual Property Rights from Publicly Financed Research and Development Act” (Act 51, 2008) are presently being introduced in South Africa. These Acts provide for the establishment of Technology Innovation Agency (TIA); to support the state in stimulating and intensifying technological innovation and invention in order to improve economic growth and the quality of life of all South Africans by developing and exploiting innovations and inventions. Also, to be established are a National Intellectual Property Management Office (NIPMO), and an Intellectual Property Fund (IPF); to provide for the establishment of offices of technology transfer (TTO’s) at institutions/universities; and to provide for matters connected therewith. The object of the IPR Act is to make provision that intellectual property developed from publicly financed research and development is utilized and commercialized for the benefit of society, whether it be for social, economic, military or any other benefit. These Acts are providing South African universities with new opportunities and challenges in technological innovation and technology transfer.

The activities and functions of the TTO will take place within a framework, and is further driven by the following:

  • The Vision and Mission of the University of Pretoria that emphasizes Research and Innovation;

  • The 10 year Strategic Plan of the University of Pretoria;

  • The establishment and development of the University of Pretoria Technology Transfer Office (UP-TTO);

  • Gaining understanding and developing strategies for the successful and full introduction of the Technology Innovation Agency Act 26, of 2008 at the University of Pretoria;

  • Gaining understanding and developing strategies for the successful and full introduction o the Intellectual Property from publicly financed research Act 51, of 2008.

The main functions of a Technology Transfer Office are as follows:

  • To facilitate the transfer of university created discoveries into new products and services for public good and benefit;

  • To promote regional economic growth and job creation;

  • To reward, retain and recruit suitable staff, build relationships with faculty and the University research and innovation community and students;

  • To create, foster, and develop (new) relationships with industry;

  • To generate net royalty income for the TTO, inventors and the university;

  • To facilitate and generate new funding support for the university and/or faculty from sponsored research funding, consulting opportunities for faculty, and donations of money or equipment;

  • To act as a service centre to the university, faculty, and staff and students, on all areas related to intellectual property, including providing seminars and consulting services as required;

  • To actively support the Venture Lab (and campus companies) in their endeavors to form new University-connected start-up (spin-out) ventures.

For more information, please contact:

Refilwe Ngoato
Technology Transfer Manager
Derpartment of Research & Innovation Support
Tel: (012) 420 - 4568