Q1 2020

10 MEA MARKETS / Q1 2020 , Nov19288 Endless Invention The Institute of Inventors and Innovators is a truly unique proposition - a home for inventors, controlled by inventors, in order to support inventors. Incredibly forward-thinking in every regard, this organisationmanaged to achieve immense success in 2019’s African Excellence Awards, winning the title of Recognised Leaders in Innovation Entrepreneur Support - South Africa. On the back of this win, we took a closer look at this award-winner to find out more. The Institute of Inventors and Innovators (III) has served South Africa since 1974. A registered non- profit, it is run by an Executive Committee who volunteer their time together with an administration and marketing assistant. Since inception it has promoted and supported any form of creative thinking, guiding and assisting Inventors, Innovators and Entrepreneurs on their challenging journey from idea to product commercialisation and beyond. Chairman Ken Hawksworth – a Chartered Engineer and Inventor himself – shared a little about the Institute. “Our dedicated and focused team has common goals, an innovative approach to problem solving, uses fair debate and aims for consensus. It’s our passion for all things invention, our common purpose, our communication style and our membership that makes the III what it is – a home from home for inventors.” The III offers an increasing number of member services. Understandably, its members are interested and active in all aspects of the invention and innovation process. This includes intellectual property protection in all its forms (patents, design registration; trademarks, copyright) as well as product design and development, prototyping, manufacturing, marketing and licensing ideas. This is where the Institute steps in to offer assistance and expert opinion. Questions they hear often enough from both members and visitors alike include: ‘We know where we want to go, we’re just not sure how to get there.’ Currently, the III is revamping its website to better suit the wide- ranging services on offer. The III takes pride in serving its members well and to this end has focused on four main areas of interest. The first of these is GipP, their Global Intellectual Property Protection service through which they seek to extend their international reach. Inventing is an expensive past-time and protecting an idea or product or deterring ‘copy-cats’ is often beyond the means of the inventor. Using GipP, the III makes it possible for anyone, anywhere in the world to acquire a Patent Pending number in South Africa and at very favourable rates. This gives the applicant full international rights for 12 months after which, via the PCT process, the applicant may proceed as desired using the services of a patent attorney. This patent pending service is applicable to all patentable inventions and further, can include Renewals, Design registrations and Trademarks. Similarly, at the Eureka!MEET – the III’s monthly meeting – speakers are invited to address beginner and experienced inventors on a variety of topics to do with all aspects of the invention process. The Eureka!MEET offers excellent networking opportunities for members, and is also open to the public. This is matched by the Eureka!NEWS, the succinct monthly newsletter that keeps members up-to-date with events, reports back on the meetings (for those members unable to attend) as well as covers other topics of interest. Finally, there is the premium service to members: ‘Pitch it to the Panel™’. Strictly confidential, PITTP™ is an opportunity for inventors and innovators to speak to a knowledgeable and highly qualified group of experts. Members serving on the PITTP™ panel vary, but inter alia, include a patent/trademark attorney, an industrial designer, Engineers of various disciplines, computer specialists, funding agents, successful inventors, businessmen, marketers and service entrepreneurs. This combination of expertise, guidance and advice offered by the panel saves inventors a tremendous amount of time, effort and money. In the future, the III has ambitious plans for expanding its services. Not only will it create more invention opportunities for independent inventors and corporates, it will offer practical workshops, provide qualified links between inventors and funders and aims to establish representative offices in other provinces in the country. In 2015 the III became a member of IFIA – The International Federation of Inventor Associations and another of their key goals for 2020 is not only to improve connections with other African Inventor Associations, but also to establish ties with other Inventors Associations across the world. Clearly the III’s services are invaluable to both the fledgling and experienced inventor, offering a forum through which ideas can not only be explored but expanded upon without fear of ridicule. Peer review is essential for any creative art and South Africa’s inventors and innovators are lucky to have it. Contact Details Company: The Institute of Inventors and Innovators Contact: Ken Hawksworth Website: www.iii.org.za Ken Hawksworth Chairman III

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