The South African Research Chair: Intellectual Property, Innovation and Development is part of the South African Research Chairs Initiative (SARChi) established by the Department of Science and Technology and the National Research Foundation. It was awarded under the call for Research Chairs in National Development Plan Priority Areas (2018). The current and inaugural holder of the Chair is Professor Caroline Ncube.
Research focus and aims
The Chair's research activities in Intellectual Property, Innovation and Development will be aligned to South Africa’s National Development Plan 2030 which aims to eliminate poverty and reduce inequality by 2030. In the words of the Intellectual Property Policy of the Republic of South Africa - Phase 1 - 2017 (Government Gazette 25 August 2017): ‘The National Development Plan (NDP) of South Africa calls for a greater emphasis on innovation, improved productivity, an intensive pursuit of a knowledge economy and the better exploitation of comparative and competitive advantages. Intellectual Property (IP) is an important policy instrument in promoting innovation, technology transfer, research and development (R&D), creative expression, consumer protection, industrial development and more broadly, economic growth.’
The Chair’s activities will accord with the NDP’s most notable priorities of raising employment through faster economic growthÍ¾ improving the quality of education, skills development and innovation; and building the capability of the state to play a developmental, transformative role. Professor Ncube has been working on these areas for a substantial period of time as evidenced by her publications , involvement in research projects and summarised in her inaugural lecture. The Chair will consolidate this work through the creation of a dynamic and growing team of researchers working in these areas. This team will include post-doctoral research fellows, doctoral candidates, masters and undergraduate students as well as research affiliates.
Teaching and research supervision
Future research students' work will expand and create new pathways beyond completed dissertations and theses. In addition to research supervision, the Chair will continue to participate in teaching in the Faculty of Law at UCT, primarily in the LLM in Intellectual Property.