Development of a technology transfer and an intellectual property strategy for titanium machining

Beecroft, Bruce (2015-03)

Thesis (MEng)--Stellenbosch University, 2015.

Thesis

ENGLISH ABSTRACT: South Africa holds the second largest share of the world’s titanium mineral deposits. However, there is no capacity for the development of titanium metal, mill products or components. It is at these stages of development that most of the value is added. For this reason, the Department of Science and Technology (DST) has been undertaking a research-led industrialisation initiative. The aim of this initiative is to establish a titanium industry strategy within South Africa. This research comes at a time when the demand for titanium, particularly from the commercial aerospace and biomedical sectors is growing rapidly. A South African industrial strategy framework has been developed by the DST to deliver titanium related competencies across the entire titanium value chain. One of the key building blocks within the strategy framework is targeted at the machining of titanium metal. This is a core competence required for the manufacture of finished titanium products. This research is fully aligned with the Advanced Manufacturing Technology Strategy (AMTS) and its objective of improving industry competitiveness via the development of advanced manufacturing technologies, as well as to the objectives of the Titanium Centre of Competence (TiCoC), whose mission is to develop and commercialise the technology building blocks required for the establishment of a titanium industry in South Africa. In order to implement the titanium industry strategy successfully in South Africa, all research being conducted in this field needs to be transferred to industry as well as protected. This is the focus of this thesis and is achieved through the development of technology transfer (TT) strategy as well as an intellectual property (IP) strategy for titanium machining. Without a TT strategy, the technological developments which are made might not be successfully implemented into industry as intended. An IP strategy is equally as important as, without one, entire research and development projects can be lost to those seeking to take advantage of incorrectly protected IP. To develop the TT and IP strategies, substantial information on the basics of these fields was considered. Titanium machining relevant information, such as contract details, industrial partnerships as well as the level of development which the research had achieved upon starting this study was also considered. Together this information created a solid foundation for decision making with regards to how both IP and TT should be handled for the titanium machining research initiative. Each new technology developed, along with its respective IP needs to be considered individually, as the scenarios for both its protection and transfer into industry will be in some way unique. As such, the strategies developed within this report attempt to provide a general outline for the decision making process for any situation which might arise. Ultimately both strategies are represented within this thesis. In order to take the research presented in this thesis further, the development of an IP portfolio is suggested allowing for decisions to be made with regards to technology specific IP outputs. For the technology transfer further implementation of tests for validation purposes at the industrial partners is recommended, in order to begin to develop an understanding of their environments and capabilities.

AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING: Suid-Afrika beskik oor die wereld se tweede grootste titaaan mineraalafsetting, maar daar is geen kapasiteit vir die ontwikkeling van titaan metaal, milj produkte of komponente nie. Dit is op hierdie stadium van ontwikkeling waar die meeste waarde toegevoeg word. Om hierdie rede is die Departement van Wetenskap en Tegnologie (DWT) besig met ‘n navorsingsgedrewe industrialisering inisiatief. Die doel van hierdie inisiatief is om 'n titaan bedryfstrategie in Suid-Afrika te vestig. Hierdie navorsing vind plaas op ‘n tydstip waar die vraag na titaan, veral vanuit die kommersiële ruimte- en biomediese sektore, vinnig groei. 'n Suid-Afrikaanse industriële strategie raamwerk is ontwikkel deur die DWT om titaan verwante vaardighede te lewer oor die hele titaan waardeketting. Een van die belangrikste boustene binne die strategiese raamwerk is gemik op die bewerking van titaan metaal. Dit is die kernbevoegdheid wat benodig word vir die vervaardiging van voltooide titaan produkte. Hierdie navorsing is ten volle belyn met die “Advanced Manufacturing Technology Strategy” (AMTS) en sy doelwit van verbetering van die bedryfsmededingendheid via die ontwikkeling van gevorderde vervaardigingstegnologie, asook die doelwitte van die “Titanium Centre of Comptetence” (TiCoC), wie se missie dit is om die tegnologiese boustene wat nodig is vir die vestiging van 'n titaan bedryf in Suid-Afrika te ontwikkel en te komersialiseer. Ten einde die titaan bedryf strategie suksesvol in Suid-Afrika te implementeer, moet alle navorsing in hierdie veld beskerm word en daarna na die bedryf oorgeplaas word. Dit is dan die fokus van hierdie tesis, wat bereik word deur die ontwikkeling van ‘n IP strategie asook ‘n tegnologie oordragstrategie vir titaan masjinering. Sonder die nodige intellektuele eiendom (IP) beskermingstrategie, kan hele navorsing- en ontwikkeling projekte verloor word deur diegene wat voordeel wil trek uit IP wat nie korrek beskerm is nie. ‘n Tegnologie oordragstrategie is ewe belangrik aangesien, in die afwesigheid hiervan, die ontwikkelings wat gemaak word, dalk nie suksesvol geïmplementeer sal word in industrie soos bedoel nie. Om die IP strategie te ontwikkel, is omvattende inligting oor die basiese beginsels van IP beskerming en bestuur oorweeg. Tersaaklike inligting oor titaan verwerking soos, kontrak besonderhede, industriele venootskappe asook die vlak van ontwikkeling wat die navorsing alreeds bereik het met die aanvang van hierdie studie, is in ag geneem. Saam het hierdie inligting ‘n stewige fondament geskep vir besluitneming ten opsigte van die toepassing en die hantering van beide IP asook die oordrag van tegnologie in die titaanverwerking navorsings inisiatief. Elke nuwe tegnologie wat ontwikkel word, tesame met die betrokke IP benodighede, moet individueel oorweeg word, aangesien die scenario vir beide die IP beskerming en oordrag van die tegnologie na industrie unieke aspekte sal hê. As sodanig poog die strategie wat ontwikkel is binne hierdie verslag, 'n algemene raamwerk te bied vir die besluitnemingsproses vir enige situasie wat mag ontstaan. Beide strategieë is in hierdie tesis aangespreek. Die rigting vir toekomstige werk dui daarop dat ‘n IP portfolio saamgestel moet word wat voorsiening maak vir tegnologies-spesefieke besluite ten opsigte van IP uitsette. Ten opsigte van tegnologie oordrag, word verder aanbeveel dat toetse vir die validasie by venote in industrie ingestel word, ten einde begrip te ontwikkel vir hulle omgewings en vermoëns.

Please refer to this item in SUNScholar by using the following persistent URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10019.1/96982
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