Who am I?
I am a biotechnologist by training with extensive technical and management experience in the technology innovation and commercialisation of biotechnology-related products and processes. I obtained a PhD in Biotechnology from the University of Stellenbosch in 2004 on the “Isolation and characterisation of a developmentally-regulated gene from Vitis vinifera (grapevine) berries”. My work experience to date was mainly in the agricultural (seventeen years as researcher and project manager for the Agricultural Research Council) and industrial biotechnology sectors (four years as portfolio manager for the Technology Innovation Agency), covering an array of research and product development projects in plant, yeast, industrial and health biotechnology. I have a keen interest in the aspects critical to the successful commercialisation of innovation. My passion is to provide technical and business support to technology developers, entrepreneurs, as well as small and medium-sized enterprises to fully develop and successfully commercialise South African innovative technologies.
My role as Research and Innovation Manager at IMBM:
I am responsible for the development of an innovation strategy to develop microbial-derived products, processes or services which can be translated into commercial opportunities for national and international enterprises and industries. The strategy will include (i) the strategic alignment of research initiatives with enterprise and industry needs to move the focus from a “technology push” to a “market pull”; (ii) the establishment of collaborations and partnerships with national and international enterprises and industries to provide them suitable, financially viable and competitive technology solutions for product/process and service development; (iii) source appropriate resources to support innovation and product/process/service development; (iv) interface with other departments and focus groups at the University and other Western-Cape Universities to identify synergies and opportunities for the development of multi-technology solutions for unique enterprise and industry challenges.
My professional interests include entrepreneurship, science innovation and commercialisation, technology transfer, mentorship, science communication and media skills, strategic planning, business analysis, market/sector analysis, business management, investment management, intellectual property management and to co-ordinate, facilitate and network.