Protection of Intellectual Property for Grassroots Innovation

Academy of Science of South Africa (ASSAf) (2019)

Cite: Academy of Science of South Africa (ASSAf), (2019). Protection of Intellectual Property for Grassroots Innovation. doi: 10.17159/assaf.2019/0053

Proceedings report

The seminar was hosted on 21 May 2019, at Protea Hotel Fire & Ice, Menlyn, Pretoria by the Academy of Science of South Africa (ASSAf) in partnership with the Department of Science and Innovation (DSI). The seminar was centred around the Grassroots Innovation Programme (GIP), which is designed to identify and support innovators and inventors who do not have a formal education or access to formal innovation facilities. The GIP intents to provide grassroots innovators with technical skills development, access to technical expertise and intellectual property (IP) protection, among other things. The seminar set-out to provide a platform to raise awareness on policies that govern IP for grassroots innovation and to further discuss the importance of IPR, reinforcing national policy dialogues and processes around the interface between Intellectual Property Rights (IPRs) and grassroots innovation, both in South Africa and Globally, with particular interest on India. The seminar also showcased two innovators who shared their journeys, highlighting opportunities and challenges they experienced. One of the take-home messages was that supporting grassroots innovation is complex and it requires partnership with government and it’s agencies, private sector, academia, NGO’s and innovators themselves. The 2019 White Paper on Science, Technology and Innovation (STI) requires a system which is responsive, inclusive and supports all forms of innovation, including effective grassroots innovation programme for the country.