‘We are very excited about having Mandla in our directorate.” This is how Dr Anette Mienie, the Director of the Research directorate, said about Mandla Hlongwane. Hlongwane has joined the directorate as a Deputy Director: Intellectual Property. Dr Mienie said Hlongwane comes with extensive experience from the University of KwaZulu-Natal where he was promoted to a Principal Innovation Officer and Commercialisation Specialist after having joined the university’s InQubate, a Technology Transfer Office as an Innovation Officer (IP and Commercialization), working closely with researchers to assess the commercial potential of their inventions and navigating the complexities of IP protection and licensing. Dr Mienie said Hlongwane has both national and international experience. Dr Mienie said she thought their innovation would now grow from strength to strength. Hlongwane would contribute to the third steam income, she added.
Hlongwane is a big addition to the directorate. For his part, Hlongwane said he was a visionary and an advocate for technology transfer, intellectual property and commercialization. Hlongwane said that with a career span of over eight years, he has demonstrated his expertise in driving commercialisation of intellectual property (IP) emanating from academia for the benefit of both academia and industry.
Hlongwane holds a Master’s degree in Botany from the University of the Free State. He has recently submitted his PhD thesis tittled: Antimicrobial and antimycobacterial properties of Lotononis lanceolata and Scenecio harvenious at the same university.