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DST/NRF SARChI Research Chair: Intellectual Property, Innovation and Development


The South African Research Chair: Intellectual Property, Innovation and Development is part of the South African Research Chairs Initiative (SARChi) established by the Department of Science and Technology and the National Research Foundation. It was awarded under the call for Research Chairs in National Development Plan Priority Areas (2018). The current and inaugural holder of the Chair is Professor Caroline Ncube


The Chair's research activities in Intellectual Property, Innovation and Development will be aligned to South Africa’s National Development Plan 2030 which aims to eliminate poverty and reduce inequality by 2030. In the words of the Intellectual Property Policy of the Republic of South Africa - Phase 1 - 2017 (Government Gazette 25 August 2017): ‘The National Development Plan (NDP) of South Africa calls for a greater emphasis on innovation, improved productivity, an intensive pursuit of a knowledge economy and the better exploitation of comparative and competitive advantages. Intellectual Property (IP) is an important policy instrument in promoting innovation, technology transfer, research and development (R&D), creative expression, consumer protection, industrial development and more broadly, economic growth.’

The Chair’s activities will accord with the NDP’s most notable priorities of raising employment through faster economic growth; improving the quality of education, skills development and innovation; and building the capability of the state to play a developmental, transformative role. Professor Ncube has been working on these areas for a substantial period of time as evidenced by her publications , involvement in research projects and summarised in her inaugural lecture.  The Chair will consolidate this work through the creation of a dynamic and growing team of researchers working in these areas.  This team will include post-doctoral research fellows, doctoral candidates, masters and undergraduate students as well as research affiliates. 


Future research students' work will expand and create new pathways beyond completed dissertations and  theses.  In addition to research supervision, the Chair  will continue to participate in teaching in the Faculty of Law at UCT, primarily in the LLM in Intellectual Property.

Further information about SARChI Chairs at UCT can be found here.

Invitation to attend the annual conference of the AIPLITL

The Chair, in collaboration with the IP Unit, will host the 3rd Annual Conference of the South African Association of Intellectual Property Law and Information Technology Law Teachers and Researchers (AIPLITL) on 1 - 2 July 2019. This year, the conference theme is The IP and IT Innovation Interface.

AIPLITL members, students and interested parties are invited to attend the event. Registration will open in May 2019. 

Submission of Abstracts

We welcome abstracts on any aspect of intellectual property law and/or information technology law within the scope of this theme, with a particular welcome for papers that address the IP and IT innovation interface within the South African National Development Plan 2030. Interested researchers and in particular, PhD candidates are also invited to present their works-in-progress during a special panel session.

Please send abstracts of no more than 1000 words to no later than Tuesday, 30 April 2019. Authors of accepted abstracts will be given the opportunity to submit full papers for consideration for publication in the South African Journal of Intellectual Property Law.

Download the call for papers