Three things hampering effective commercialisation of intellectual property at South Africa’s universities were mentioned as animosity between universities, misconceptions around royalties and the lack of willingness to share IP.

This was the controversial view of Mr Daniel Strauss (left), Private Equity and Venture Capital Entrepreneur, best-selling author and – most importantly – manager of the University Technology Fund (UTF). He was addressing a public universities’ executive leadership audience at the two-day Executive Leadership Workshop (ELW), hosted by Universities South Africa’s Entrepreneurship Development in Higher Education (EDHE) programme in Cape Town, last week. The ELW 2022 theme was Commercialisation of Research.

Held annually and now in its 4th iteration, the purpose of the ELW is to increase the number of institutions positioned as entrepreneurial universities and provide an opportunity for deputy vice-chancellors, executive directors and directors in entrepreneurship development, to engage on entrepreneurship at universities, specifically as it relates to university strategy and policy. This annual empowerment exercise is sponsored by the British Council as part of its support to growing entrepreneurial universities in the South African ecosystem.