The newly formed TTI unit was established to tap into the huge intellectual and business potential that exists within DUT. Durban University of Technology envisages itself as a dynamic centre of technology, pursuing excellence in research & development in South Africa. The aim of the technology transfer unit is to promote innovation, technology transfer and entrepreneurship in positioning DUT as a Centre of Excellence in Technology. The institution has identified a wealth of novel and elaborate indigenous technologies that have great entrepreneurial propensity, which can be converted into product and create financial viability for participants. The TTI unit facilitates this transition between the institution, industry and community by ensuring proper commercialization of the intellectual property.
The TTI unit looks to extend beyond the institution and serve as a vehicle to engage the community at large to awaken the creative potential and promote technology transfer, innovation and an entrepreneurial spirit. Strategic public, private sector and international partnerships allow the TTI unit to support innovation and technology transfer.The TTI unit facilitates this process by making available the materials, infrastructure and resources required in the generation of technology. Secondary to this function, the TTI unit offers professional advice and support with regard to legal, technical and business related matters in order to ensure the successful commercialization of intellectual property.
The newly formed Technology Transfer and Innovation Unit at the Durban University of Technology has moved swiftly to assess the potential within the institution, facilitate the set up of projects, and provide immediate support to existing projects. The unit was established in March 2008 with the appointment of Professor Gerhard Prinsloo as the Head of the unit. Prof Prinsloo has a Phd in Electronics Engineering. He started his career as a Research and Development Engineer with Telkom Technology Transfer in Cape Town, from which he gained active experience with the filing and commercialization of patents for technology inventions in the corporate industry. He was actively involved with the commercialization of 46 technology inventions locally and abroad through which he gained active experience in working with foreign patent attorneys and a network of corporate and private investors in Europe. His experience extends into the academic and corporate fields in which he has held senior management positions, particularly associated with research, technology transfer, fundraising, partnerships and intellectual property management.
Professor Prinsloo has started the visioning process for the unit and has pulled together a team to deliver the mandate. The team comprises the expertise in the areas of Project Management, Entrepreneurship, Patent Law, Fundraising and Commercialisation. The launch of the new TTI website is no doubt a significant milestone in the short history of this unit as it provides a window to the research being carried out at the institution as well as an opportunity to showcase the technologies generated in the various disciplines within the institution.