Every year, on the 26 April, the world celebrates World Intellectual
Property (IP) Day as a way to recognise the innovation and creativity that
shapes our society.
This year, World IP Day is celebrating innovations, and
associated intellectual property rights, leading to a green future. We all live
together on this earth and need to take care of it, and the University of the
Western Cape (UWC) is playing its part to ensure a greener future for all.
Apart from being declared Africa’s greenest campus in 2014, UWC is a role
player in the development of green innovations, from hydrogen fuel cell
technologies to hosting the multidisciplinary Centre of Excellence for Food
Security. Here are some of the innovative technologies being developed at
1) Natural plant based biofertilizer and biopesticide – developed from a South African indigenous plant extract, this organic biofertilizer and biopesticide improves the health and growth of crops while minimising the use of chemical synthetic product.s
2) Hydrogen fuel cell Technologies - UWC hosts the HySA Systems Centre of Competence, part of South Africa’s Hydrogen South Africa Programme (HySA). HySA Systems is involved in the development of hydrogen fuel cell systems for vehicles as well as power modules, as a renewable fuel source alternative
3) Green batteries - Alternative renewable energy sources are part of the solution, however this needs to be coupled with improved energy storage solutions. UWC hosts the Energy Storage Innovation Lab (ESIL) involved in the development of improved Li ion battery technologies.
4) Treatment of Acid Mine Drainage – a method for the treatment of polluted mine water utilising fly ash, the waste product from burning coal, has been developed at UWC. This is a double-edged solution as it both treats polluted mine water while decreasing the quantities of waste fly ash in the environment.
5) Fly Ash building materials – another innovative way to reduce the fly ash waste has been developed by incorporating fly ash to construct building materials including bricks and tiles, using a novel innovative method.
6) Green nanotechnologies – from biosensors to detect pollutants, to green nanomolecules with antimicrobial activity, UWC is involved in the development of a large number of innovations utilising nanotechnologies.
7) Solar-powered connectivity for rural South Africa – Zenzeleni Networks is enabling rural communities to set up their own internet service provision for affordable internet communications, and powering them utilising solar powered infrastructure
8) Centre of Excellence for Food Security – The Centre does research on understanding the factors associated with food security for the poor and vulnerable populations in South Africa and develops opportunities to contribute towards improved food security through innovation.
These are just a few of the many ways in which UWC is ensuring a greener future for all through innovation. And this is just the beginning….
For more information on these and other green innovations, you can contact the UWC Technology Transfer Office (firstname.lastname@example.org).