Frederick Matongo from Southafrica
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South Africa learns innovation through LTU Business

Published: 15 November 2016

Fredrick Matongo from University of Fort Hare in South Africa is visiting Luleå for ten days to learn about the university innovation system. Luleå University of Technology was amongst others picked before Stanford and Oxford University.

– I spoke with the foresighting expert Will Cockayne from Stanford University, and he said that the best place for innovation right now is Sweden. He thought I should talk to Pär Johansson at LTU Business. After the talk with Pär, I scratched all the other universities from my list, said Fredrick Matongo, tech transfer manager at University of Fort Hare.

It is the so called Intellectual Property Rights from Publicly Financed Research and Development Act of 2008 that has made every university in South Africa to develop their own technology transfer office. Fredrick Matongo is now seeking leading-edge and evidence-based models that can be successfully adapted for the conditions at University of Fort Hare which has approximately 14,000 students across three campuses.

– Luleå University has a flexible innovation system. My hope is that I can learn from your mistakes and best practices and put our own innovation support system on fast track so we will have a fully functional system in 3 to 5 years. Our government invests billions of rands annually in research and development but has difficulty to see the correlation between research, job creation and local economic development. We must become better to show the impact of the research results of the scientific community, said Fredrick Matongo.

Pär Johansson, business area manager in LTU Business, welcomes the visit and says it is in line with the strategy for LTU Business and Luleå University of technology.

– We have been working hard since 2012 to develop a well-functioning innovation system that functions in an international setting. We have also received inquiries from China and Norway, asking if they can learn from our way of thinking around innovation. Luleå University of Technology has an innovation system that they should be proud of, said Pär Johansson.