Research and Innovation


The Office of Technology Transfer (OTT), located in the Directorate of Research Development and Innovation, was established in line with the provisions of the Intellectual Property Rights from Publicly Finance Research and Development Act, No. 51 of 2008. The objective of the IPR Act is to ensure that research emanating from publicly funded R&D is protected and commercialised for the benefit of the people of South Africa.

The OTT provides support to WSU researchers, innovators and entrepreneurs towards the identification, evaluation, protection, marketing and commercialisation of intellectual property (IP) arising from WSU's research initiatives.

The responsibilities and services of the OTT include:

● Development and review of WSU’s Intellectual Property (IP) Policy and related regulations

● Raising awareness on IP

● Supporting researchers and innovators with the invention disclosure

● Fundraising for WSU innovation support

● Identification, evaluation, protection, marketing and commercialisation of IP; stemming from WSU research and innovation outputs

● Facilitating the filing of IP protection

● Facilitating innovation and IP commercialisation

● Facilitating the establishment of spin-offs and start-up companies

● Managing the IP portfolio and monitoring of the IP policy implementation

WSU innovations over the past few years include:

  • Road maintenance innovations

The research project seeks to provide a sustainable approach into the repair and maintenance of road surfaces by way of an innovative portable machine and method using recycled synthetic polymers and known road surface aggregate components. 

  • Several software based applications solving a myriad of challenges ranging from social-focused conflict management to healthcare focused innovations.
  • Creation Nervine and Creation Arthritis Tea

Creation Nervine and Creation Arthritis are indigenous knowledge system-based herbal tea prototypes developed by WSU researchers through the Technology Innovation Agency (TIA) Seed Fund.

Creation Arthritis Tea was formulated from the results of studies that proved that the researched plants have the ability to treat inflammation and pain associated with arthritis, inflammation and stiffness of one or more joints.

Creation Nervine Herbal Tea has sedative effects and ability to calm the nervous system. A trademark has been filed as part of protecting WSU’s IP in the two prototypes. Further product development for the commercialisation of the two herbal teas is ongoing.

  • Biogas (Renewable) Energy for Cooking and Electricity

The research on the anaerobic generation of biogas as an alternative source of renewable energy has led to the development of a biogas stove prototype. It has been exhibited at various innovation platforms such as the Innovation Bridge 2018. Further technology development is being conducted with WSU’s Institute for Advanced Tooling. The work has been made possible through the TIA.

  • Pneumatic-Actuated Prosthetic Foot and Pin-Lock Telescopic Adjustable Pylon

In 2019, two WSU student-led medical innovations, a Pneumatic-Actuated Prosthetic Foot and a Pin-lock Adjustable Pylon, is supported by the OTT.  The inventions, which made national headlines, have been lauded as redefining physical mobility for amputees in South Africa and internationally. The invention was widely reported. 

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