In 2000, the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) Member States designated the 26 April as the World Intellectual Property Day. The day is aimed to celebrate human creativity, to acknowledge the socio-economic importance of Intellectual Property (IP) and the protection thereof, create awareness about IP rights and encourage creativity and innovation by citizens.
The Technology and Innovation Support Centre platform aims to stimulate innovation and thus economic growth in South Africa by facilitating access to technological information and by strengthening the capacity of the country to effectively exploit the information found in technology databases.
A partnership between the National Departments of Science and Technology, and Education, the National Intellectual Property Management Office, Mpumalanga Department of Education , the Maths, Science and Technology Academy (MSTA) and the World Intellectual Property Organisation saw the third workshop, in a series, being held at Shapeve Primary School in Secunda. Thirty-two teachers from local schools, from the district office and from the MSTA spent the day together in the library, the centre of new knowledge, at Shapeve Primary School with three members from NIPMO, learning about intellectual property and intellectual property rights with the ultimate goal of imparting this knowledge to the youth. The theme of this initiative is to encourage the youth to use their inherent innovative and creative thinking to provide “local solutions for local problems”.
A series of workshops were help with members of the offices of technology transfer (OTTs) across the country to provide an insight into the NIPMO Knowledge Information Management (KIM) System. This system is designed to streamline all interactions between the stakeholder community and NIPMO and to further enhance NIPMOs internal effectivity. The workshop, primarily with a training and change management focus, took the members of the OTTs through the functioning of the system in a step-by-step fashion. In addition, the Innovation Bridge Portal was demonstrated to all attendees. The Innovation Bridge Portal is an “online platform that aims to create linkages and networks between regional, national and international innovators, industry and public and private technology development, and commercialisation funding partners. It is an online technology matchmaking platform for researchers, innovators, technology developers, and entrepreneurs, to present their technology innovation offerings, and funders and technology users to present challenges that can be addressed”. For more information go to https://www.innovationbridge.info/ibportal/.