The government is urging students, innovators, professionals and researchers from all sectors to participate in a summer school on intellectual property (IP) aimed at increasing knowledge and understanding of IP rights.


An effective IP system aims to foster an environment in which creativity and innovation can flourish by striking the right balance between the interests of innovators and the wider public interest.


"IP rights enable innovators and IP creators to realise economic and other benefits from the commercialisation and use of their creativity," said Paballo Phiri, Acting Head of the National Intellectual Property Management Office (NIPMO). A specialised unit of the Department of Science and Innovation (DSI), NIPMO ensures that inventions and innovations resulting from publicly financed research are identified and protected, thereby supporting and enabling a more creative, innovative society.


The summer school, an initiative of the World Intellectual Property Organization, will be hosted by NIPMO together with the University of KwaZulu-Natal and the Department of Trade, Industry and Competition through the Companies and Intellectual Property Commission (CIPC). Since its inception 13 years ago, the summer school has proved to be an excellent platform for collaboration and best practice sharing on various IP topics.


Phiri said the school was a great opportunity for NIPMO stakeholders, including office of technology transfer professionals, researchers and research managers, as well as SMMEs, to learn about the importance of intellectual property rights and how they interface with other disciplines to ensure that IP is protected, commercialised and used for social impact.


CIPC Commissioner, Adv. Rory Voller, said IP cuts across various disciplines, and welcomed working collaboratively with international IP offices, academic institutions, research institutions and others to advance IP knowledge globally.


The summer school is aimed at university students, young professionals with a business and law background, and government officials whose duties may require them to have an understanding of how the international IP system functions and its intersection with other policy areas such as health, climate change and agriculture.


The programme includes lectures by experts and will expose participants to various aspects of IP, such as the international nature of IP protection and the interface between IP and other disciplines. It takes a problem-oriented approach through lectures, simulation exercises, group discussions, panel discussions and case studies.


Due to the COVID-19 restrictions, the summer school will be held online and the fees have therefore been waived.


The course will run from 23 November to 3 December 2021.


Registration is open until 3 September. Applicants should submit their résumé together with a letter of motivation setting out their reasons for applying and what they hope to gain from the summer school.


Applicants should visit the following link to submit their applications:


Issued by the Department of Science and Innovation


For enquiries, please contact the Summer School Administrator at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or Julian Leshilo-Sebake at 060 961 2194 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.