Representatives from VUT and WRC
On 13 February, the Vaal University of Technology Southern Gauteng Science and Technology Park had a visit from The Water Research Commission’s Technology Transfer Office (WRC TTO).
The purpose of the meeting was to engage with VUT’s TTO to gain insight into the water projects in its portfolio and to understand the challenges faced in transferring technologies and related IP issues for water innovations. Some key issues discussed during the meeting included water-related projects funded (or not) by the WRC and the development, IP protection and commercialisation statuses thereof.
The WRC identified the primary challenges to the global economy in 2018 as the water crises, the failure of climate change mitigation and adaptation as well as large-scale, involuntary migration. The WRC has five research priorities of which one is to solve water and water-related problems that are critical to South Africa’s sustainable development and economic growth. All of these priorities are grounded in solutions.
In carrying out its mandate, the WRC TTO recognises the importance of building partnerships with technology transfer capabilities of institutions undertaking water-related research and development. The TTO wishes, therefore, to acquaint itself with the various projects carried out by different institutions and to assist them accelerate the commercialisation of water technologies and innovations.
VUT’S response to the WRC is that it appreciates that the current water crisis in the Western Cape might be the precursor of a tragedy across South Africa, should anything happen to the water that the whole of South Africa gets from Lesotho and Mpumalanga. Thus, VUT will endeavour to motivate early-stage research from researchers of all disciplines to use the TIA Seed Fund calls to conduct research towards water solutions.