The Innovation Hub partners with WIPO to benefit South African entrepreneurs, academics and tech-based SMEs
The Innovation Hub Management Company, in partnership with the World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO), the National Intellectual Property Management Office (NIPMO) and the Companies and Intellectual Property Commission (CIPC), is hosting a two-day workshop on "Access to Technology for Innovation - Patent Search Strategies and Techniques", at The Innovation Hub Conference Venue, from 9 to 10 October 2012, to benefit South African entrepreneurs, academics and technology-based SMEs.
The Innovation Hub is a subsidiary of the Gauteng Growth Development Agency (GGDA), which is an agency of the Gauteng Department of Economic Development. Aimed at fostering innovation in South Africa, the workshop will bring together representatives from academia and the public and private sectors, who will hold discussions on the value of patent information, as well as tools and strategies for locating patents. The roles of The Innovation Hub, CIPC, NIPMO and the Southern African Research and Innovations Managers Association will be discussed, as well as the specific role of WIPO's Technology and Innovation Support Centres (TISC) programme. Delegates will also undergo training on patent search strategies.
The WIPO TISCs offer a wide range of services aimed at assisting small and medium-sized enterprises and university researchers to fully exploit their innovative potential and to create, protect and manage their intellectual property rights. Delegate training on patent search strategies will use open access patent databases and will include a number of online searches. Patent searches are critical to understanding the competitive landscape and are seen as essential for the development of stronger patent portfolios that ultimately support the growth of competitive businesses to generate income and jobs at community and regional levels.
McLean Sibanda, The Innovation Hub CEO, said: "The partnership with the World Intellectual Property Organisation and local partners is an important one for strengthening the commercialisation of intellectual property from publicly financed research and development. This workshop will give academics, representatives of technology transfer offices at higher education institutions and entrepreneurs the tools to conduct effective patent searches using a range of open access patent databases. This will assist them to better understand the technology landscape in their areas of interest, and strengthen the commercialisation of innovations that can benefit the people of South Africa, to realise the objectives of the Intellectual Property Rights from the Publicly Financed Research and Development Act."
The Innovation Hub plays an important role in facilitating the flow of knowledge between research institutions, industry, citizens and government, thereby strengthening provincial competitiveness and creating shared wealth. The Innovation Hub is also committed to supporting emerging entrepreneurs by creating an environment that is conducive to innovation and entrepreneurship. In addition to providing world-class infrastructure and business premises at affordable rates, the Maxum business incubator, along with the mobile applications laboratory, or mLab, and Climate Innovation Centre (CIC), provide a mix of support services, including intellectual property capabilities and business mentors, as well as specialised technical support in the mobile and green technology sectors.