Washington, DC. The International Intellectual Property Institute, IIPI, released today a report exploring the role technology transfer plays in South Africa’s economic development. “Technology transfer,” the process of transferring new technologies invented at universities and other public research organizations to the private sector through commercialization of these technologies, is a key ingredient to strengthening South Africa’s industry and global competitiveness.

South African University Technology Transfer: A Comparative Analysis urges the South African government and universities to clarify intellectual property ownership rights through policy changes, provide more services for the transfer of technology, encourage a stronger entrepreneurial spirit among South African university inventors and provide additional incentive for venture capital and other private investors to support university-based technology start-up companies. The study compares the technology transfer process in the United States and other countries to efforts being made in South Africa and outlines nine steps to prevent potentially economically useful research done in South African universities from slipping into an “innovation chasm.”

“South Africa is home to scores of world-class scientists, inventors, and scholars. Yet despite quality research and impressive innovations, their work has not produced the economic gains achieved by comparable research facilities in other countries,” notes report author Eric Garduño. “This report is intended to assist South Africa in realizing greater economic benefit from home-grown technologies.”

IIPI produced this report in partnership with the South African Research and Innovation Managers Association (SARIMA), Nathan Associates, the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO).