Technology Transfer and Innovation is a strategic technology hub in the Southern Gauteng region and is based in Sebokeng in the Vaal. It is supported by a multi-disciplinary skilled workforce, with 172 hectares of land and boasts world class technology programmes in Advanced Manufacturing, all geared to support industrialisation and job creation.

The strategic location, available infrastructure as well as the current entrepreneurial culture makes the VUT TTI an ideal implementing agency for driving regional government programmes within the Southern Gauteng region.

Operates a unique world class Advanced Manufacturing Precinct to assist entrepreneurs develop product prototypes and employs engineers, scientists, design and Additive Manufacturing specialists.

TECHNOLOGY STATION

Advanced Manufacturing Precinct (AMP)

The Vaal University of Technology Advanced Manufacturing Precinct (VUT AMP) functions as a service bureau supporting local industry, entrepreneurs, as well as providing research support to local and international researchers.

The following departments form part of Advanced Manufacturing:

(i) 3D Printing Platform

3D printing uses computer-aided design to create three-dimensional objects through a layering method. Sometimes referred to as additive manufacturing, 3D printing involves layering materials, like plastics, composites, or biomaterials to create objects that range in shape, size, rigidity and colour.

(ii) The Casting Simulation Network (CSN)

Is a network supported by the Department of Science and Technology’s Technology Localisation Implementation Unit (TLIU) through a sector wide technology assistance package. The TLIU is hosted by the CSIR.

The CSN provides access to casting simulation software for the foundry industry through a network of support centres. The hub of the CSN is located at the Vaal University of Technology’s VUT Southern Gauteng Science & Technology Park, Sebokeng. Ametex is the MAGMA GmbH partner in South Africa, which the CSN utilises as its technology partner.

Services offered:

  • Access to simulation software
  • Design support
  • Industry workshops
  • Human capital development through an internship programme benefits
  • Reduction of trials
  • Reduction of scrap
  • Cost reduction
  • Improved product development cycle
  • Improved product optimisation

The mission statement of the CSN was and remains “to provide local foundries, including small and medium enterprises, with access to casting process simulation software and skills to enable the revitalisation of the South African foundry industry”.

ISO cast Synthetic sand

  • Customized solutions
  • 66% saving
  • Skills development and job creations

(iii) Industrial Design and Product Development

Industrial design – support offered include research, ideation, concept development from 2D renditions to physical 3D modelling and modelling using 3D CAD software. The product development team consists of industrial design, engineering, additive manufacturing (AM) and tooling specialists. A typical design project will start with 2D concepts and 3D components.

Industrial designers assist in the aesthetics or visual appearance of the product. They add artistic elements to the product’s enclosure to make it more attractive for the intended market. Other design elements include ergonomics, man-machine interface (MMI), costs and manufacturing methods and appropriate materials.

Engineering – A wealth of information from engineers will assist in resolving design problems. This can mean a greater focus on some fields more than others. Engineering support includes mechanical engineers, electronic engineers, electrical engineers, biochemical engineers and others.

  • Additive manufacturing – Several technologies are used to manufacture prototypes or products from a range of machines.
  • Tooling – Tools are made to produce the parts in the intended material. This is important to confirm the function of the part.
  • Other support – Reverse engineering, graphics, composites, scanning, etc

Engineering Manufacturing

The Engineering Manufacturing is equipped with CNC milling machines, CNC lathe and other conventional engineering machines and equipment. These include metal fabrication equipment for sheet metal, welding and other.

(i) Tooling and Manufacturing

The tool room for mould and die manufacturing offers a one-stop design, research and development service with access to 3-axis CNC milling and general machining capabilities.

Using this technology, driven by expert knowledge of CAD/CAM, the facility is able to offer services to local industry, mainly in machining of working parts and prototypes for research projects. Expert tool engineers provide experience in the design and manufacture of injection moulds, compression moulds, blow moulds, vacuum forming moulds and metal pressing dies.

(ii) Engineering Fabrication and Welding

Engineering Fabrication and Welding – Involves engineering fabrication and welding. Maintenance and boiler making activities, supporting Vaal University of Technology , local industry and SMMEs.

(iii) Robotic Milling

Performs multi axial machining of large organic, free form and symmetrical items. Artefacts, prototypes, and tooling are commonly produced in this unit. Patternmaking is part of Robotic Milling in the true spirit of innovation, also supports individuals and institutions involved with the fine arts.

  • Specialises in Robotic machining and trimming.
  • Provides robotic solutions for the Industry and Casting Industry.
  • Our robotic solutions enable us to model cells required, prove the concept, build them, program them, and provide upgrades as the customer’s products change.
  • Aims to be a leader of innovative and versatile solutions by keeping pace with technology to meet our customers’ changing needs.

With education and experience, patternmakers could advance to careers as fashion designers, manufacturing designers and fit designers.

Technology Station Material Processing Technologies (TSMPT)

The Technology Station for Materials and Processing Technologies (TSMPT) focuses on assisting students, small and medium size enterprises & manufacturers in attaining their maximum potential, enabling them to contribute to economic growth, job creation and skills development in South Africa. To achieve this, we provide solution-orientated expert and training services in composites and metals-based products through technology transfer.

TSMPT offers the following services:

  • Industrial design
  • Testing & analysis
  • Product & process improvement
  • Prototyping
  • Training & technology demonstration

CONTACT

Mr R Malatsi
Title: Acting Technology Station Manager / Project Manager: TTI
Ph no.: 016 930 5054
Email: robertm1@vut.ac.za

Idea To Product/Fabrication Laboratory (I2P)

The Idea To Product Laboratory (I2P Lab) is an initiative within the Technology Transfer and Innovation (TTI) department that offers skills development training in product development, making use of 3D Computer Aided Design (CAD) and 3D printing. This training is offered to individuals, community groups, youth centres, school learners, students as well entrepreneurs from all works of life. The training offers participants access to entry level 3D printing technology and encompass the equipment usage and maintenance.

The lab also offers technology intervention and empowerment within communities in the forms of outreach programmes, excursions to showcase the 3D printing technologies on various platforms such as university open days, exhibitions, shows, on and off-campus training.

I2P Lab training

The I2P Lab Basic 3D Design and 3D Printing Training is an upskilling within the 4th Industrial Revolution (4IR) ambit. This training offers skills development and training in areas of product development in the form of basic 3D Computer Aided Design (CAD), part modelling, as well as 3D printing

The I2P Lab and the training provided within it enable grassroots inventions by providing a platform where communities can have access to advanced tools that can help people make products to address local needs.

Among others, I2P Lab training activities includes:

  • Training, short course and skills development in product development by making use of 3D design software and 3D printing technology
  • Technology Demonstrations
  • Information on 4IR and how 3D printing fits
  • Project development, from conception to final printed product
  • Manufacturing processes using 3D Printing technology
  • Mentoring and transfer of skills and technology

The training also empowers trainees to think outside the box, locally conceptualize, define, develop and design their own solutions to problems as well as offer new ways of thinking about addressing their own local problems. The training also serves as a bridge to the digital divide by making available and accessible Computer Aided Design and manufacturing.

I2P Lab Project Currently Underway: The Bellus3D Mask Fitter Frame

The Vaal University of Technology Southern Gauteng Science and Technology Park (VUTSGSTP)’s Idea2Product (I2P) Lab is in collaboration with Maker Station in Woodstock, Cape Town, and 3D Printing Store, to produce facemask fitter frames for staff members at the Red Cross War Memorial Children’s Hospital, by making use of additive manufacturing (AM) technology, this being done to help minimise risks of contracting the virus by particularly those in the forefront of the fight against the spread COVID-19.

The Bellus3D Mask Fitter Frame

This collaboration was formed after Maker station approached VUT, requesting assistance with the manufacturing of Bellus3D Mask Fitter frames and the Idea to Product Laboratory (I2P Lab) is producing these frames making use of printers in the lab using ABS material sponsored by 3D Printing Store, this material donated to I2P lab through the office of its CEO, Mr Paul Cronje. These frames are personalised to the contour of a person’s face to improve the peripheral seal of surgical, KN95 or other masks. Using Additive Manufacturing (AM) is the preferred way of manufacturing for this project, as each frame is customised.

The aim is to print for all 1 500 staff members at the hospital and to date three sets of files (batches), comprising of a total of 288 3D CAD STL files, have been received and printed by the I2P lab.

I2P Lab training

The I2P Lab Basic 3D Design and 3D Printing Training is an upskilling within the 4th Industrial Revolution (4IR) ambit. This training offers skills development and training in areas of product development in the form of basic 3D Computer Aided Design (CAD), part modelling, as well as 3D printing

The I2P Lab and the training provided within it enable grassroots inventions by providing a platform where communities can have access to advanced tools that can help people make products to address local needs.

Among others, I2P Lab training activities includes:

  • Training, short course and skills development in product development by making use of 3D design software and 3D printing technology
  • Technology Demonstrations
  • Information on 4IR and how 3D printing fits
  • Project development, from conception to final printed product
  • Manufacturing processes using 3D Printing technology
  • Mentoring and transfer of skills and technology

The training also empowers trainees to think outside the box, locally conceptualize, define, develop and design their own solutions to problems as well as offer new ways of thinking about addressing their own local problems. The training also serves as a bridge to the digital divide by making available and accessible Computer Aided Design and manufacturing.

I2P Lab Project Currently Underway: The Bellus3D Mask Fitter Frame

The Vaal University of Technology Southern Gauteng Science and Technology Park (VUTSGSTP)’s Idea2Product (I2P) Lab is in collaboration with Maker Station in Woodstock, Cape Town, and 3D Printing Store, to produce facemask fitter frames for staff members at the Red Cross War Memorial Children’s Hospital, by making use of additive manufacturing (AM) technology, this being done to help minimise risks of contracting the virus by particularly those in the forefront of the fight against the spread COVID-19.

The Bellus3D Mask Fitter Frame

This collaboration was formed after Maker station approached VUT, requesting assistance with the manufacturing of Bellus3D Mask Fitter frames and the Idea to Product Laboratory (I2P Lab) is producing these frames making use of printers in the lab using ABS material sponsored by 3D Printing Store, this material donated to I2P lab through the office of its CEO, Mr Paul Cronje. These frames are personalised to the contour of a person’s face to improve the peripheral seal of surgical, KN95 or other masks. Using Additive Manufacturing (AM) is the preferred way of manufacturing for this project, as each frame is customised.

The aim is to print for all 1 500 staff members at the hospital and to date three sets of files (batches), comprising of a total of 288 3D CAD STL files, have been received and printed by the I2P lab.

Centre of Footwear Entrepreneurship (CoFE)

The Triple P’ People, Productivity, and Profit are the defining ethos of Vaal University of Technology, which aims to empower the local youth to be self-sustainable through training occupational skills.

South Africa is a country rich in raw materials hence offering training in Footwear manufacturing will help the Shoe manufacturing sector to have a pool of work force that is able to supply the global village with high quality products

With the above in mind VUT has taken the initiative to run the following Shoe manufacturing qualifications that are divided into theoretical and practical training to bolster the Footwear Manufacturing sector

Occupational certificates:

  • Footwear Closing Production machine operator (NQF level 2)
  • Footwear Bottom stock Production Machine operator (NQF level 2)
  • Footwear Lasting/Making Production Machine operator (NQF level 2)
  • Footwear Cutting Machine operator (NQF level 2)

The Casting Simulation Network (CSN)

Is a network supported by the Department of Science and Technology’s Technology Localisation Implementation Unit (TLIU) through a sector wide technology assistance package. The TLIU is hosted by the CSIR.

The CSN provides access to casting simulation software for the foundry industry through a network of support centres. The hub of the CSN is located at the Vaal University of Technology’s VUT Southern Gauteng Science & Technology Park, Sebokeng. Ametex is the MAGMA GmbH partner in South Africa, which the CSN utilises as its technology partner.

Services offered:

  • Access to simulation software
  • Design support
  • Industry workshops
  • Human capital development through an internship programme benefits
  • Reduction of trials
  • Reduction of scrap
  • Cost reduction
  • Improved product development cycle
  • Improved product optimisation

The mission statement of the CSN was and remains “to provide local foundries, including small and medium enterprises, with access to casting process simulation software and skills to enable the revitalisation of the South African foundry industry”.

ISO cast Synthetic sand

  • Customized solutions
  • 66% saving
  • Skills development and job creations

TECHNOLOGY TRANSFER OFFICE (TTO)

The Technology Transfer Office was established with the support of the National Intellectual Property Management Office (NIPMO), to exploit the university’s research projects and intellectual property for socio-economic impact to promote regional economic development. This purpose is also achieved by exploiting all commercial opportunities which may arise from within the institution including contract research, and commercial research, amongst others. In this regard, the office assists researchers, students, and community members with the protection, management, and exploitation of their Intellectual Property.

The TTO offers the following services:

  1. Commercialisation and SMME Support Services – Market Analysis, Business Plan Drafting, Company Registration, VAT Registration.
  2. Intellectual Property Services – Conducting Novelty Searches, Drafting & Filing Patent, Trademark & Design registrations, IP Administration.
  3. Research Contracts – MOU & MOA, Service Level Agreements, License Agreements.

1. Commercialisation

Commercialisation is the process of bringing new products or services to market. It entails production, distribution, marketing, sales, customer support, and other key functions critical to achieving the commercial success of the new product or service.

Commercialisation of IP my take the form of:

  • Spinout – a special kind of venture, usually a start-up, that is created to commercially exploit IP.
  • Licensing – granting a third party the right to use IP, while retaining its ownership.
  • Assignment – transfer of ownership of IP and rights thereto to another party.

2. Intellectual Property (IP)

Intellectual property refers to the creations of the mind, namely: inventions, literary & artistic works, symbols, names & images used in commerce. IP may include:

  • Patents– protect the technical principle of an invention that is new, inventive and has utility
  • Copyright – protects work reduced to material form from being copied
  • A Registered Design – protects the shape of an article
  • A Trademark – protects a trading name or logo
  • Plant breeders’ rights – protect the right to produce, propagate, sell, import, and export a new plant variety
  • Trade Secrets – protects the secret ingredients/formulation of a product

As a VUT staff member, student or stakeholder, the VUT TTO can assist you with any query and/or request you might be having with commercialisation of IP or any other commercially viable invention you might be having or come up with.

CONTACT OFFICE

Maemo Kobe
Commercialisation Manager
Tel: (016) 930 5305
E-mail: maemok@vut.ac.za

Martha Ikome
Intellectual Property Advisor
Tel: (016) 930 5127
E-mail: marthai@vut.ac.za

Gontse Serero
Administrator: TTO
Tel: (016) 930 5106
E-mail: gontses@vut.ac.za
Website: www.vut.ac.za

Stategic Partners

  • Centre for Sustainable Livelihoods
  • French South African Schneider Electric Centre
  • ICBT
  • eKasi Lab
  • Dihlare Remedies

Networks

  • Casting Simulation Network (CSN)
  • Collaborative Program for Additive Manufacturing (CPAM)
  • merSETA
  • Fp&m SETA
  • Innovation Highway
  • CAMASA

Tech Platforms

  1. Advanced Manufacturing Precinct (AMP)
  2. Technology Station for Materials and Processing Technologies (TSMPT)
  3. Idea to Product (I2P)/Fabrication Laboratory (FabLab)
  4. Centre of Footwear Entrepreneurship (COFE)
  5. Energy Optimisation Unit (EOU)
  6. Technology Transfer Office (TTO)

Contacts

Reception: (016) 930 5023
info@sciencepark.ac.za
Public Relations and Marketing
(016) 930 5006/5025/5052
www.vut.ac.za

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