The main benefits of knowledge exchange and commercialisation activities are the societal impact they make from research, and not about the revenue they may generate.

This was the view of Ms Jaci Barnett (left), an expert from the Oxentia Ltd team and Head of Consulting Services at Oxford University Innovation, when leading a session on Practical Tools and Resources for Researchers and TTOs (technology transfer offices). This session was part of last week’s Train-the-Trainer Workshop of the Entrepreneurship Development in Higher Education (EDHE) programme. Funded by the British Council and facilitated by experts from Oxentia Ltd — Oxford’s Global Innovation Consultancy — the workshop aimed to bridge the gap between research, innovation and commercialisation that has, for years, been a matter of concern to South Africa’s higher education institutions.

Said Ms Barnett: “Researchers can start looking at their research in a different way and asking themselves what they could be doing with it, to make a societal impact. And TTOs can assist them in this. We need to move from thinking of commercialisation in terms of making money to making a difference.”