The Durban University of Technology (DUT) continues to be at the forefront of research capacity development, which is in line with its Strategic Plan’s Strategic Focus Area 2: Building Research and Innovation for development in terms of its Research, Innovation and Engagement agenda.
This was affirmed as DUT recently received the National Research Foundation (NRF) Excelleration Award for South African Research Institutions 2018. Derived from the words “excellence” and “acceleration”, the Excelleration Award acknowledges South African research institutions for achieving the most improved research performance over recent years as evaluated by independent parties, and measured against a selection of critical indicators. The award prize is sponsored by Clarivate Analytics, the global leader in providing trusted insights and analytics to accelerate the pace of innovation. They have built some of the most trusted brands across the innovation lifecycle, including Web of Science, Cortellis, Derwent, CompuMark, MarkMonitor and Techstreet.
The official handover ceremony took place at the DUT’s Steve Biko Campus, Wednesday, 21 November 2018. Representatives Justine Cresswell (Head of Sub-Saharan Africa), Zulfaqar Dudhia (IT Specialist), Randall Crisp (Life Sciences Regional Manager), Tracey October (Regional Manager Southern Africa) from Clarivate Analytics, DUT’s Prof Sibusiso Moyo (Deputy Vice Chancellor: Research, Innovation and Engagement), Sara Mitha (DUT Library), Prof Carin Napier (Acting Director of Research and Postgraduate Support), Dr Ramika Bansi (IP Manager), and Alan Khan (Senior Director: Division of Corporate Affairs) were all present for the exciting handover ceremony.
Cresswell from Clarivate Analytics presented the award and prize of a 12 month complimentary subscription to the full Derwent Innovation experience, including the Derwent Innovation Index on the Web of Science and Derwent Innovation, a proprietary patent research application that provides access to globally trusted, curated patent intelligence and scientific literature.
She congratulated Prof Moyo for DUT’s outstanding win of this auspicious award and prize valued at 100 000 US dollars (almost R1.4 million).
Speaking at the handover, Prof Moyo thanked all the representatives from Clarivate Analytics for the amazing award and prize, which she added will be really put into good use. She also said that the win showed that DUT has the right environment for research to be conducted and that at the end of the day it’s the people that actually do it. “This goes to show the efforts that the University prides itself in promoting research and innovation platforms where our researchers can collaborate, show case their work and network with other researchers,” said Prof Moyo.
“Our research focus areas have really been working hard and our research is more applied, we have grown quite a lot, but we still have a long way to go. For me, what is sustainable is to have a solid pool within the University, there should be sufficient capacity so that if some individuals do retire we don’t go back to where we used to be. And for that we need a lot of post graduate students and programmes in place,” she stressed.
Prof Napier shared her sentiments, also adding that the last two years at DUT has been very successful with a lot of awards and a lot of DUT researchers and top professors having won different awards across the University. “From a research point of view, there has been lot of research support and people who have done their PhDs had a lot of funding available, so for staff wanting to do research, the support is more than enough,” she said.
Prof Moyo also added that now with the DUT Arts and Design faculty also having the prospect of getting acknowledged for their output. I think people now feel they can do more and develop more at DUT,” she said excitedly.
Cresswell from Clarivate Analytics added that their aim is to accelerate research and innovation and on that note, Clarivate Analytics has given DUT access to the full Derwent innovation suite, Derwent Innovation Index on the Web of Science and Derwent Innovation, and some workshops and training programmes.
Dudhia from Clarivate Analytics, also congratulated DUT for the outstanding win. “I think DUT has won the award due to decisions that were made and different strategies. I really like the concept of research focus areas. What we would like to introduce is our different processes and systems, so that at the proposal phase, one is looking at patterns as a source of literature. You will be pleased to know you will get all the patterns through the Web of Science.
I do most of the training and I would like to involve the library, post research and other departments at DUT and train and give researchers to learn the skill to pattern and what they should be looking for,” he said.
Pictured: Dr Ramika Bansi (IP Manager), Alan Khan (Senior Director: Division of Corporate Affairs), Sara Mitha (DUT Library), DUT’s Prof Sibusiso Moyo (Deputy Vice Chancellor: Research, Innovation and Engagement), Justine Cresswell (Head of Sub-Saharan Africa- Clarivate Analytics), Prof Carin Napier (Acting Director of Research and Postgraduate Support), Tracey October (Regional Manager Southern Africa- Clarivate Analytics), and Zulfaqar Dudhia (IT Specialist- Clarivate Analytics), at the handover ceremony.
Photo credit: Randall Crisp (Life Sciences Regional Manager-Clarivate Analytics)