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Innovation Office

Please note that the Innovation Office only deals with Research-related contracts. All other contracts need to be dealt with by Legal Services.
Please note that the Innovation Office only deals with Research-related contracts. All other contracts need to be dealt with by Legal Services.
Please contact the Contracts Lawyer in the Innovation Office on 041 504 2546 regarding the contract. The Contracts Lawyer will explain the process to you and the documentation required to process for signature.
In most cases the funder will supply a contract for signature. Once received, please liaise with the Contracts Lawyer in the Innovation Office. Should a contract need to be drafted, the Contracts Lawyer (041 504 2546) will assist in drafting and negotiating the contract.
Please contact the Contracts Lawyer in the Innovation Office (041 504 2546). 
The closeout process for sponsored projects is handled by the Finance Department, please contact Rheinard (041 504 2787 | Rheinard.vanOnselen@mandela.ac.za) or Mariam (041 504 3687 | Mariam.Jogee-Jamal@mandela.ac.za).
In terms of Nelson Mandela University’s signing policy, the DVC: Research and Engagement has the authority to sign research related contracts on behalf of the University.
If the contract is research-related, please contact the Innovation Office (041 504 2546) for assistance. If the contract is not research related please contact Legal Services (041 504 3263 | Charmaine.Seaman@mandela.ac.za).
The Contracts Lawyer shall meet with the academic to discuss the contract to be drafted or reviewed. Once the contract is finalised with all parties, the academic (initiator of the contract) will need to submit the following to the Contracts Lawyer to process the contract for signature namely:
1. Draft Contract;
2. Contract Approval Form (no contract can be processed without a contract approval form);
3. If the research related contract holds a monetary value – budget must be included.
This largely depends on the collaborators involved. The contract signing process in the Innovation Office works efficiently and can be finalised within two to three weeks (depending on the type of contract) and provided all signatories on the Contract Approval Form have approved the contract.
Common delays are often caused by discussions regarding Intellectual Property rights and each party having to follow their own internal processes.

The Nelson Mandela University, as a higher education institution, is bound by the provisions of the Intellectual Property Rights from Publicly Financed Research and Development Act 51 of 2008.  The IPR Act governs the ownership and utilisation of Intellectual Property which flows from publicly financed research and development.

In terms of Section 4(1) of the IPR Act, the default position is that all Intellectual Property which emanates from publicly financed research and development is owned by the recipient. A “recipient” is defined as “any person, juristic or non-juristic, that undertakes research and development using funding from a funding agency [e.g. Government] and includes an institution”. Therefore the Nelson Mandela University, as a publicly financed institution, is bound by the provisions of the IPR Act.  The result is that the University owns the Intellectual Property which is developed during or consequent to publicly financed research conducted either utilising the facilities of Nelson Mandela University and/or any personnel of the University.

Nelson Mandela University cannot, in terms of legislation, negotiate on this point unless full cost is paid. In terms of the IPR Act, if an entity is paying the full costs of research, the IPR Act will not apply to the Intellectual Property developed during the research and in this instance Nelson Mandela University will be able to negotiate Intellectual Property ownership with the entity.  For assistance in calculating the full cost of research, please contact the Innovation Office (041 504 2546).

At the point where you are about to engage in discussions with industry and the discussions relate to Confidential Information, it is advisable to sign an NDA beforehand. The NDA will be signed by the DVC: R&E. Should you require assistance with a NDA – please contact the Contracts Lawyer in the Innovation Office (041 504 2546).