SARIMA is set to launch a Brand new initiative, the “Expert-in Residence” programme, initiated to address a specific need in technology transfer.
Whilst universities and research organisations are the primary generators of new knowledge and innovations, the researchers do not necessarily have the required capacity to take such innovations to the marketplace. Technology Transfer/innovation Offices (TTO) play a crucial role in assisting researchers with the commercialisation process, however these offices are often constrained by limited budgets as well as attracting and retaining people with the right skillset for technology commercialisation. Furthermore, a number of institutions’ TTOs consist of an assigned a staff member, with limited exposure to commercialisation. The process of commercialisation requires hands on experience, and thus in addition to the suite of professional development interventions offered by SARIMA and its partners, individuals need support as they walk the journey of commercialisation with their researchers/inventors. An “Expert-in-Residence” programme is being launched and piloted in 2019, to accelerate technology commercialisation in public research institutions. This initiative is funded by the South African Department of Science and Technology, and will only be open to South African TTOs.