South Africa’s National Development Plan (2011) identified innovation as a primary driver of technological growth and higher living standards.  Intellectual property (IP) rights are universally accepted as critical to innovation and economic growth. This is recognised in the National Research and Development Strategy (2002), as well as the Ten-Year Innovation Plan (2008-2018), both of which note the need for an institutional function to enhance the protection of IP rights locally.

Against this policy background, NIPMO was established to ensure that the research and development conducted at publicly financed research institutions results, whenever possible, in IP that is ultimately embodied in products, services or processes that end up in the marketplace or have an impact on the lives of ordinary South Africans.

This means that publicly financed research institutions should protect their IP and engage in innovation.  In particular, the first object of NIPMO’s founding legislation, (the Intellectual Property from Publicly Financed Research and Development Act, 2008 (Act No. 51 of 2008)) is for IP emanating from publicly financed research and development to be “identified, protected, utilised and commercialised for the benefit of the people of the Republic, whether it be for a social, economic, military or any other benefit.”

As the Innovation Bridge will help to ensure that IP that results from publicly funded R&D activities is utilised and commercialised, NIPMO is delighted to be a partner in this event!