Owning IP rights ‘can help save fees’

South Africa can save public and private business millions of rand in licensing and other user fees by making algorithmic intellectual property (IP) ownership entirely home grown, says the University of Johannesburg’s Resolution Circle.

While the drive to made-in-South Africa outcomes largely remains a work in progress, engineers and intellectuals are stepping up to re-engineer processes so they can become the intellectual property of domestically and globally active firms. This could save the often high costs the client pays in licensing and other user fees.

Pockets of research like this, and its application, are rising in scientific development institutions.

‘South African engineering science has the intellectual capacity to transform our industrial and commercial landscape in vital, interesting and rewarding ways,’ said Resolution Circle senior project manager Michelle Immelman on Friday.

The company, owned by the University of Johannesburg, is a gathering of engineers, technologists and scientists under the leadership of Prof Willem Clarke, the CEO. ‘We’re all about alternative thinking, and multidirectional approaches in innovation and problem solving,’ he said. ‘Our goal is to achieve new and powerful made-in-SA outcomes.’

Ms Immelman said: ‘The algorithms we engineer and re-engineer are not exactly ‘Eureka moments’ as the technology has been around for a while. They should rather be seen as innovations that move beneficiation in SA to higher scientific levels.

‘Image processing and biometrics, for example, are being seen as the big next things in engineering science. They will change the way we live.

‘We need to own the intellectual aspects.’

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