University entrepreneurship in South Africa : developments in technology transfer practices

25 Feb 2014

Although formalised practices of technology transfer at research institutions are well established in many developed countries, these practices are still very much in their infancy in South Africa. The country is however currently focused on improving technology transfer activities and measuring the performance thereof, as exemplified by the recent implementation of a new intellectual property act. In support of the latter and in an effort to obtain an accurate overview of the status quo of technology transfer in South Africa, it was decided to evaluate organisational structures and key factors determining successful technology transfer at 13 publicly funded research institutions. It is recommended that technology transfer practices in South Africa be further strengthened through the expansion of dynamic collaborative networks and communities of practice. Crucial to these objectives is the development of appropriate metrics for measuring the successes and impact of technology transfer, taking into account the socio-economic and institutional specificities in South Africa.