The Durban University of Technology (DUT) hosted the World Intellectual Property (IP) Day on Wednesday, 26 April 2023. This was a hybrid event, with international and local speakers and guests.
DUT hosted the conference in partnership with the National Department of Science & Innovation, Genesin of Educational Impressions (GEI), Roorkee, Uttarakhand, India, Namibia University of Science & Technology (NUST), Intellectual Property Management Office and Centre for Excellence in Mining Innovation (CEMI).
World Intellectual Property Day is celebrated every year on April 26, and the 2023 theme was Women and IP: ‘Accelerating Innovation and Creativity’. The aim of the conference was to encourage woman to utilise the IP system by leading diversity of new ideas and innovations, it also encouraged woman to go into business.
This was also an opportunity to celebrate women inventors, creators, and entrepreneurs and also to renew efforts to promote inclusion and diversity to ensure the development of innovative ecosystems that are accessible to all genders.
Women across the globe are seen as breaking gender barriers and are playing a massive role in our economy through driving scientific breakthroughs, by setting new creative trends across all borders and by developing businesses and transforming the world.
DUT’s Dr Vaneshree Govender, Acting Director: Research & Postgraduate Support, delivered her opening remarks, where she expressed how human innovation and creativity are the engine of progress, how both female and male innovators from all walks of life have transformed our world through the power of imagination and creativity but till this day some groups remain under-represented in many areas of intellectual property use.
“As part of the Research and Innovation focus within the ENVISION2030 strategy, DUT actively encourages all its researchers to consider commercial opportunities that may arise from their research activities”, she said.
Ms. Vivienne Katjiuongua, Chief Executive Officer: Business and Intellectual Property Authority (BIPA) in Namibia congratulated DUT and NUST on the successful online event on the day that the world is celebrating the contribution from women who have made it in the space of intellectual property.
On the panel of speakers was DUT’s Professor Keolebogile Motaung, Acting DVC: Research, Innovation & Engagement, who spoke on the topic from patent to market. She shared key ingredients of entrepreneurship for a successful entrepreneur as she is a well-seasoned entrepreneur herself. The key ingredients included:
Dreams: Making sure they came true, understanding ones weaknesses and building on your strength
Purpose: A person needs a strong purpose to succeed in business.
Perseverance: Overcoming many challenges and finding out what is important to persist in your efforts and not be afraid to use academic experience in the commercial space.
Lastly is Passion: Have passion to create value from your research findings, and make sure they contribute to making people’s lives better.
The event ended with an award ceremony for women who were also part of the panellists who have made a mark in their respective fields.
Pictured: Prof. Keolebogile Motaung during her presentation at the World IP conference.