ASSAf News

The Academy of Science of South Africa (ASSAf) and the Department of Science and Technology (DST) cordially invite you to thevInnovation for Inclusive Development (IID) Seminar on Protection of Intellectual Property for Grassroots Innovation.


Date: 21 May 2019
Time: 09:00 − 14:30
Venue: Protea Hotel Fire & Ice! Pretoria, Menlyn Summit Place Precinct, 221 Garsfontein Rd
RSVP: Click here to register by 14 May 2019

Grassroots innovation differs from mainstream innovation in that it primarily has a social purpose created at the bottom of the income pyramid. Grassroots innovation usually emanates from the developing world due to necessity, hardship and various challenges, and as such, the solutions turn to address localised problems, usually without a conducive and formal platform. Many grassroots innovators use indigenous or traditional knowledge to develop their products or services, and as a result, the need to explore appropriate mechanisms to govern and support grassroots innovation processes, including Intellectual Property Rights (IPRs) is of utmost importance.

The Department of Science and Technology (DST) and its entity, the Technology Innovation Agency (TIA), have launched 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. It is against this background that the Academy of Science of South Africa (ASSAf) is hosting a seminar on "Protection of Intellectual Property for Grassroots Innovation". The seminar will seek to: explore how the current IP systems and processes work in the South African setting; interrogate how the national IP policies can be harnessed or adapted for grassroots innovation; identify mechanisms applied by different institutions to support grassroots innovation; identify IP-related innovation bottlenecks; interrogate IP-related innovation metrics and how these can be adapted when designing policy and regulatory frameworks; look at how knowledge, technology, innovation and IP can be married with social and economic development objectives in the South African setting; explore how innovation can be sustainable and properly managed to benefit society through IP and other systems and evaluate the future of grassroots innovation.

In view of your interests and expertise, you are cordially invited to participate as a guest stakeholder. We would be greatly pleased if you would accept this invitation to participate in the discussions. If you have any queries about this event, please contact Dr Tebogo Mabotha on This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

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