One of the primary strategic objectives of the University of Johannesburg is to maximise its intellectual capital. In doing so it seeks to put it to work in a manner that creates mutually-beneficial synergistic relationships between the university and external parties. A key component of putting intellectual capital to work in this manner is to actively encourage innovation in both employees and students, to recognise and protect intellectual property generated through research and to seek to commercialise the intellectual property for the benefit of the institution, the inventor and the industry partner.
The Office for Intellectual Property is responsible for the protection of intellectual property generated through research and for its management to the stage of commercialisation.
For those research projects with clear and substantial commercial value, UJ adopts a strategy of transferring the ownership of the intellectual property to a holding company in which the University has 100% shareholding. This company can in turn transfer it to a subsidiary company in which the University and other interested parties can have shareholding.
UJ has had one major success in recent years in the commercial exploitation of intellectual property generated by its researchers. The development of new and improved photovoltaic technology by Prof Vivian Alberts of the Department of Physics has resulted in the commercial exploitation of this technology by means of licensing agreements to consortia in Europe and in South Africa. The financial potential of such licences (and sub-licences) is huge.
The Innovation Fund funded part of the research on the photovoltaic technology and also funds another important project led by Prof Ben-Erik van Wyk (Department of Botany) which has much commercial potential, namely on indigenous knowledge systems and medicinal plants.
Policy on Intellectual Property
Policy on the Protection, Management and Commercial Exploitation of Intellectual Property
Strategy for the Identification and Commercialisation of Intellectual Property
For further information please see the Commercialisation and Technology Transfer web page.
Prof Aart Boessenkoel
Dr Christopher Masuku