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The University strives to be a quality-driven university of technology at the cutting edge of innovation. Pursuant to this vision, the University endeavours to contribute innovatively to the socio-economic development of the Republic of South Africa. The University considers, among others, the generation and application of knowledge as one of the critical components in attaining its vision. This accords with the prescripts of the Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) from Publicly Funded Research and Development Act, 2008 (Act No.51 of 2008). The IPR Act came into force on 2 August 2010. This Act requires public higher education institutions (HEIs) to identify and protect any IP emanating from publicly funded R&D activities within these institutions, and to ensure that such IP is of consequence to the people of the Republic of South Africa. In order to give proper effect to the provisions of this Act, public HEIs are expected to establish technology transfer offices or designate a function to assume the technology transfer responsibilities. At TUT, these responsibilities reside with the Innovation Support Unit of the Directorate of Research and Innovation.
Services provided by the Innovation Support Unit
In 2005, the University, through a grant from the then Innovation Fund, established an Office of Technology Transfer, semi-independent from the Directorate of Research and Development. In 2007, the Office was “incorporated” into the new Directorate of Research and Innovation under the Innovation Support Unit. The responsibilities of this unit have escalated over time, partly to give effect to the explicit and implicit responsibilities and obligations imposed by the IPR Act.
The unit therefore provides the following suite of services to staff and students of the University: