Two Innovus staff members received national acclaim for their contribution to innovation management in the technology transfer field of expertise in South Africa.
Innovus' Dr Madelein Kleyn, Director Technology Transfer and Camille de Villiers, Technology Transfer Officer, each received an award at the Annual Department of Science and Innovation (DSI) and Southern African Research and Innovation Management Association (SARIMA) Excellence Awards. These awards celebrate excellence in Research and Innovation Management in Southern Africa.
Dr Kleyn received the DSI-SARIMA Award for Distinguished Contribution in Innovation Management. This award recognises individuals who have made distinguished contributions to the Research Management or Innovation Management profession. A specific contribution should have been made in the period under review (2019), but nominations should be in respect of leaders in their respective fields. They are recognised beyond their organisation for their broad contribution to the profession over many years.
In announcing the award, Dr Therina Theron, Senior Director Research and Innovation at SU's Division for Research Development and also President of SARIMA, said: “Amongst a list of accolades, Dr Kleyn generously shares her knowledge and expertise with professional innovation management colleagues and peers across the globe. She provides guidance and assistance to several institutions which require guidance on Intellectual Property (IP) knowledge, capacity and expertise, especially to universities. "
De Villiers, who has been at Innovus for almost three years, received the DSI-SARIMA Award for Early Career Excellence in Innovation Management. This award recognises individuals who are newcomers to the Research or Innovation Management professions. Nominees must have less than five years' experience in any of the core elements that make up a Research Management or Innovation Management function, whether they were in a formal organisational office or not.
Amongst her many achievements, Anita Nel, Chief Director Innovation and Business Development, highlighted De Villiers' involvement in actively and efficiently managing the IP protection, prosecution and commercialisation of over twenty projects at Innovus in 2019. “Camille has closed several commercialisation agreements on these projects while assisting with incubation of two potential Innovus spin-out companies. Also, she has successfully proposed, raised funding for and managed the establishment of two new initiatives at Stellenbosch University: the annual SU Hackathon, and the Stellenbosch Network."
Nel congratulated Kleyn and De Villiers, saying that both are exceptional in their respective positions. “Both Madelein and Camille deserve this recognition for the incredible work they are doing at Innovus. In the short time that they have been part of the Innovus team, they have added great value to the work we do."
The Southern African Research and Innovation Management Association (SARIMA) is a membership organisation that brings together research and Innovation practitioners to strengthen these disciplines and institutional capabilities. It provides a platform for the promotion and facilitation of best practice in research and innovation management in Southern Africa. For more information, visit www.sarima.co.za.
Innovus is the university-industry interaction and innovation platform of Stellenbosch University (SU). Innovus is responsible for technology transfer, entrepreneurial support and development, and innovation at the University. Amongst its activities to commercialise the assets of SU, Innovus manages the commercialisation of the University's innovation and intellectual property portfolio through patenting, licensing and the formation of spin-out companies.