The Keynote Speaker, Mr Christophe Bongo: Football analyst
On 17 April, the Vaal University of Technology Southern Gauteng Science and Technology Park’s Intellectual Property Office, in partnership with the Department of Science and Technology, the National Intellectual Property Management Office and North West University celebrated Word Intellectual Property Day at the VUT Isak Steyl Stadium under the theme: Reaching for goals in IP and sports.
World Intellectual Property (IP) Day is a global celebration led by the World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO). Every year they highlight the role that intellectual property rights play in encouraging innovation and creativity. The event is also an opportunity for IP officers, inventors and enterprises to connect with each other and discuss how IP contributes to the flourishing of innovations that shape the world and improve the way people live.
The theme was chosen to highlight that the global sports industry generates billions of dollars every year and that, by understanding intellectual property and using it strategically, sports-related businesses can grow and succeed. Delegates of a high calibre discussed how people can reach their potential with the help and protection of intellectual property.
Ms Martha Ikome: VUT IP Advisor welcomed all delegates to the programme, which was directed by Ms Keltareng Polori: NWU IP Officer. Mr Hendrik van der Merwe: Operation Manager expanded on the purpose of the day and reflected on big brands in South Africa and how universities are working together to assist students and the public, who have great ideas, to enter into this multi-billion-rand industry.
“This is a great opportunity for IP and sports enthusiasts to network and explore how IP supports the global sports landscape and contributes to sports innovations. Let us make the most of it and keep those ideas coming,” he said.
“The beauty of me standing here speaking to students, means a lot to me because I have been where you are. I was once a student like you. This is the worst of times, use your time to be curious, to observe and create solutions. There is no invention that was created that is not solution-based. Ladies and gentlemen, as a student of science, sports is the biggest industry in the world and universities are a hub of intellectual people. What are you thinking about sports? Think about it as an industry and a social provider,” said the keynote speaker, Mr Christophe Bongo, a football analyst.
He related anecdotes from his past where he had great ideas that he shared. They have become big products today but, because of his lack of knowledge about protecting his ideas, he lost out.
Activities of the day included a play by Generations of Stars from Sharpeville and a football game between VUT and NWU Vaal FC. The idea was for people to learn more about how IP can support their growing businesses and to network with other professionals.
Mr Maemo Kobe: VUT Commercialisation Officer gave the vote of thanks.