Spinning out IP from Stellenbosch University, and Why It’s a Big Deal for Innovation in South Africa

Spinning out IP from Stellenbosch University, and Why It’s a Big Deal for Innovation in South Africa

In 2014 Stellenbosch University became the first university in Africa to file a patent for a blockchain technology. The core Custos technology — the process of embedding blockchain bounties in media to stop piracy — was developed in the MIH Media Lab at Stellenbosch University. The IP was patented and owned by the University until recently when we managed to transfer the patents to Custos. This might seem trivial — but it’s a massive deal for innovation in South Africa. Let me tell you why…

Where innovation happens

Silicon Valley has Stanford. Silicon Fen has Cambridge. Silicon Wadi has Tel Aviv University. Silicon Cape? Stellenbosch University and the University of Cape Town. We are past the age of the single inventors developing cutting-edge technologies in their garages — to really push what is possible you need labs, funding, and masses of smart and innovative people. Universities form the nucleus of these clusters.


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