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South African national survey of intellectual property and technology transfer at publicly funded research institutions: inaugural baseline study: 2008-2014

Authors N. MustaphaF. KhanL.O. KondloS. TakatshanaG.P. RalphsD. WhisgaryJ. WeyersK.L. FaulE. Romanowska
OUTPUT TYPE: Research report- client
Print HSRC Library: shelf number 9688
handle 20.500.11910/10908
This survey establishes baseline indicators required to track overall activity in Intellectual Property (IP) management and Technology Transfer (TT) at publicly funded research institutions in South Africa. Scope and approach The study period starts in 2008, the year when the Intellectual Property Rights from Publicly financed Research and Development Act (IPR Act) was passed, and runs to 20141. The survey targeted all institutions as defined in the IPR Act, which are the 23 Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) and the 10 Schedule 1 institutions or Science Councils (SCs). In many cases, the TT functions (TTFs) at these institutions were established as a direct response to the requirements of the IPR Act. However, it is important to note that, even before the landmark legislation was introduced, some institutions had already led the way and set up TTFs. Responding to the survey was voluntary. Third-party administrative data was also used in the study, both to enhance data and its quality and also as a measure to reduce respondent burden. However, despite these measures, a paucity of data remains in many parts of the survey. Therefore, the survey results in this report represent seventy-three percent (73%) of the 33 publicly financed research institutions. International benchmarking data was referenced, where possible, to enhance the process of interpreting the findings. Comprehensive international benchmarking will only be possible in future surveys as it is anticipated that more complete data will become available as the system matures. The survey instrument was initially based on a similar survey in the United States of America (USA), which was undertaken by the Association of University Technology Managers (AUTM). An oversight committee consisting of members from SARIMA, NIPMO, DST and CeSTII was established to assist with adaptation of the instrument to the South African context. This process also involved piloting the instrument with several institutions that are at various stages of TTF maturity. Steps were taken ??? workshops and email communication ??? to sensitise the TT community prior to the survey taking place, and to promote participation by institutions. However, due to the level of maturity of TTFs at many of the institutions surveyed, there are indicators that could not yet be meaningfully reported. It is hoped that future surveys will see a broadening of the dataset and indicators reported.