MRC Technology Transfer Office

With the passing of the Intellectual Property Rights from Publicly Financed Research and Development Act in 2008, all MRC researchers are now obligated to disclose any potential intellectual property (IP) developed to the Technology Transfer Office (TTO) and, where appropriate, the TTO is required to protect and exploit the IP for the good of the people of South Africa. This website provides you with some guidelines on the invention disclosure process, IP protection and commercialisation process. “It is very important that you familiarise yourself with the MRC’s IP Policy.

The Purpose of the TTO:

  • To promote and implement the MRC’s IP Policy;
  • To effectively manage and commercialize IP developed by MRC researchers, as required by the IPR Act;
  • To collaborate on commercialisation issues with university TTOs where IP is developed in extra-mural MRC research units;
  • To effectively translate MRC research into new health policies, products, processes and practises;
  • To create awareness amongst MRC researchers on issues relating to intellectual property

The Key Activities of the TTO

  • Intellectual Property Management – receive invention disclosures, conduct due diligence studies (evaluation of invention disclosure for patentability & prospects of commercialisation), file patent/design/trademark applications, manage copyright, prepare responses to patent examination reports, manage patent applications & maintain granted patents (payment of renewal fees).
  • Intellectual Property  Commercialisation – preparing & implementing commercialisation plans, engaging with potential commercialisation partners, negotiating licensing terms, creating spin-out companies, creating product development partnerships (PDPs), facilitating Public-Private-Partnerships (PPPs), monitoring & managing commercialisation contracts (royalty collections, etc), implementing the benefit sharing model.
  • Intellectual Property Risk Management – monitoring compliance with the IP policy and  identifying & managing IP risks
  • Research Translation – engaging with researchers and stakeholders to ensure that MRC research is translated into policies and products that impact on the health of the nation.
  • Assist MRC researchers with bioprospecting permits – facilitating applications for bioprospecting permits and benefit sharing agreements with indigenous knowledge holders.
  • Evaluating Different Types of Agreements that MRC enters into for compliance with the MRC IP Policy and the IPR Act.
  • Providing IP legal advice to MRC researchers in general advising researchers on matters relating to copyright, designs, patents, trademarks, know-how, trade secrets, material transfer, etc.

TTO Resources

Contact Details
2nd Floor Building A, MRC Medicina Campus, Francie van Zijl Drive, Parow Valley, Cape Town
Tel: 021 938 0351; Fax: 021 938 0385; Email: