SATN Conference 2010 - Ms jansie niehausPresentation Transcript
National Science & Technology Forum SATN Conference, 30 Sept 2010 Jansie Niehaus, Exec Director NSTF
What is the NSTF?
The NSTF is a representative stakeholder body of science, engineering & technology organisations,
We seeks to influence SETI (science, engineering, technology and innovation) policy formulation and delivery in South Africa
NSTF is a Section 21 company.
Vision & Mission
SETI system that is responsive to the needs of all people.
To promote and influence SETI policy in the interest of socio-economic growth.
to influence and catalyse quality delivery of SETI policy
to monitor the health of the SETI system
to celebrate, recognize and reward excellence within the SETI sector
espouses democratic principles as enshrined in the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa
acts responsibly on behalf of members in matters relating to SETI
promotes open and honest exchange of views and opinions
fosters cooperation on matters of common interest
About 110 Organisations are members of the NSTF
Spanning both private and public sectors
The individual representatives include: researchers (various), engineers, entrepreneurs, technologists, technicians, organisers, administrators, academics, etc.
Government Pro SET (Professional Bodies) Business Civil Society Science Councils, Stat Bodies Higher Education NSTF Executive Committee DST Universities NGO’s Companies SMME’s State Corp’s Labour Univ’s of Tech
Workshops (discussion forums) on specific topics.
NSTF Awards (13 th year) for professional scientists, & related professionals.
Promotion of NSTF Awards Winners & SET Awareness.
Supporting DST’s Youth into Science Strategy through: (incl) National Youth Service, & an Undergraduate Bursary Scheme.
The NSTF Awards
Individual contributions to SETI (for research, management, leadership), incl 4 NRF sponsored TW Kambule Awards. Total of 7 awards.
Research for Innovation (3 awards)
Research Capacity Building, Eskom sponsored (2 awards)
Communication, SAASTA. (1 award)
NSTF Awards (cont)
Community effort, various sponsors
Online registration – deadline 12 Nov
Final deadline for nominations 31 Jan 2011
Adjudication Panel representative of NSTF membership & SET sectors.
110 winners since 1998.
2009/10: 30% female. 50% black.
NSTF Award Winner: Centre of Materials and Process Synthesis (COMPS) Team, Wits University
innovative chemical process design, unique in the world
solving three problems with one ground breaking approach e.g. in oil and food from waste
new design methodology. In remarkably short time using it to build, commission & operate a pilot plant in China, & design a demonstration plant in Australia.
The short time is unique, as is the fact that it has been done by a university research centre.
has the potential to significantly reduce carbon dioxide emissions as well as to preserve precious fossil fuel reserves, with significant impact on Africa.
NSTF Award Winner: The OSCAR-4 Team, South African Nuclear Energy Corporation (Necsa)
For the latest version of the OSCAR reactor calculational software system
fast and accurate nuclear reactor simulations with unparalleled efficiency
developed over 20 years.
provides critical parameters for the safe and productive operation and licensing of modern research reactors.
It is the primary calculational tool for the SAFARI-1 research reactor operated by Necsa in SA, widely accepted as the best commercialised research reactor in the world, given its refocus toward medical isotope production.
OSCAR has also become the primary calculational system for three reactors overseas.
“ Leveraging government / government agency support for innovation and technology ”
Innovation = technological innovation. Home grown SA. Examples: NSTF Award winners...
Gov’s intentions & initiatives are laudable.
Implementation (the ‘rub’)
E.g. Discussions on Publically Financed IP Act.
E.g. Discussions on Commercialising Research Outputs & Partnerships with Industry.
Government’s Intentions with regards to Innovation
National Research and Development Strategy (August 2002),
DST’s Ten Year Innovation Plan (innovation in order to improve competitiveness and increase economic growth)
The Intellectual Property for Publicly Financed Research and Development Act (2008)
The Technology Innovation Act
Implementation of Policies & Legislation
Downfall is usually in the implementation – regardless of the efforts that went into policy formulation and establishing structures.
We urge Government to consult experts and stakeholders from early on in policy formulation.
Monitoring mechanisms are essential.
Discussions on IPR Act
Do universities in reality produce IP and innovation?
Is the IP Act is able to promote what it says, in the context of an emerging economy like SA? Technologies that SA wants/needs to produce might not be the same as elsewhere. E.g. the health sector.
The UCT Faculty of Law criticised the law not promoting collaborations with foreign institutions .
Dr Djims Milius, Senior Research Fellow, IP Law Unit,
Faculty of Law, UCT (Nov 2009)
IP Act (cont.)
Does innovation always needs commercialisation, as stated in the Act? Commercialisation is one aspect of applying IP, but IP itself can be a tool for feeding back into non-commercial arrangements where researchers can pull together their research capacity, IP tools, & patents.
Is it necessary for government to always assess whether research should be either in the commercial sphere or in the public domain?
IP Act (cont.)
In 1945 the US took the first initiative for public funding of national institutions.
The US has now come to realise that IP regulations need to be more responsive to social issues & to the potential for dealing in open science that promotes innovation in the development context. These questions will continue to challenge the US IP policy.
In these times of global recession, the same questions as in those post-war years are being asked in respect of public funding of R&D. Earlier in 2009, the US President renewed his government’s commitment to increase funding for basic research and for blue-sky research. In 1980 the Bayh-Dole Act provided a way for the government to fund, recuperate and control IP. Current critics suggest that it has many failures. However, many countries have tried to emulate this Act, which does not allow institutions that are not government funded to share the IPR.
TECHNOLOGY BRIDGE OR BARRIER? Dr Joanne van Harmelen, Spoor and Fischer (Nov 2009)
The Act was originally drafted similarly to other such legislation around the world. IP legislation in Japan and Taiwan has encouraged patenting at universities, but has not been successful in many other countries. There is much criticism of the legislation in India, concern that it will detract from the main function of academic institutions, which is to teach rather than to innovate and commercialise products. In the USA, the onerous conditions of the legislation have been broadly criticised and are regarded as stifling private investment.
The effectiveness of the Act will depend on a number of factors such as:
• The amount of support TTOs receive from NIPMO
The availability of suitably qualified people for staffing TTOs and NIPMO
The efficacy of NIPMO in terms of the turn-around time and interaction with research institutions
Enabling inter-institutional and public–private partnerships
Enabling spin-off companies
Enabling cooperation and collaboration with international partners.
NSTF Science Councils Symposium 2010
“ Commercialising Research Outputs & building partnerships with industry”
CSIR, ARC, Necsa, TIA, NACI, MRC, & Mintek, HSRC
Dr Liesbeth Botha, CSIR:
Also referred to the distinction between Innovation & Commercialisation
“ Need a Group/team of people who are:
Understands the problems “out there”
Understand the business of the clients
Practical and pragmatic
Passionate to make a difference”
Michelle Mulder MRC Innovation Centre
“ Challenges of Commercializing IP
Shortage of personnel
Shortage of funds, especially “seed funds”
High costs of IP protection
Early stage of technology development – not market-ready
Compliance with PFMA
Treasury approval required for certain transactions
Procurement policies can inhibit efficient business activities
Fair and transparent processes for identifying partners
Internal approvals for IP transactions
IPR Act conditions may deter industry partnerships
Identification and negotiation with suitable partners
– usually foreign”
Significant levels of scientific collaboration will be required to develop a successful vaccine against HIV/AIDS in the shortest possible time - international collaboration is essential
Lessons learnt (MRC, cont.)
Commercialization of IP in health is slower and more challenging
Small proportion of MRC units generating IP but good, practical inventions coming from doctors
Important to engage industry very early on – best source of market intelligence
Significant effort is required to market technologies to industry
Helps to work with companies that understand the academic environment
Do your homework on potential partners!
Openness, transparency, efficiency and flexibility are important when working with industry
NECSA: Dr Van Zyl de Villiers Group Executive: Strategy & Performance
Example of partnership: NTeMBI (Nuclear Technologies in Medicine and the Biosciences Initiative)
Partnership between Necsa, iThemba LABS, other research organisations, various universities, private sector.
Activities to cover entire innovation chain in areas of national importance.
Emphasis on building networks, human and research capacity, product pipeline.
“ Partner or perish!
Careful (and often difficult) selection of suitable partners”
Mintek: Dr Roger Paul General Manager: Business Development
“ Revolutionary Technology”
Technology must offer significant financial benefits to be considered,
Technology vendor must provide onerous conditions:
– process guarantees; and/or
– waive licence fees in lieu of risk; and/or
– grant exclusivity to 1 st implementer for 5-8 years,
Commercial adoption will take 10-20 years,
Financial return to technology developer uncertain .
The nature of Innovation
Is it appropriate to rely on Gov to stimulate Innovation??
Limitations – Gov cannot make innovation happen..
Beware over-regulation, and limiting innovation to structures.
Nature of Entrepreneurship (risk taking).
Ethos, culture, attitudes... Education!
Universities of Technology
At the interface between Theory and Practice? Between Academia and the Market?
Able to integrate ideas across disciplines?
Ideally placed to form partnerships for innovation.