A milestone for the University of Johannesburg and DM Kisch Inc!
On 19 August 2005, at a signing ceremony held at the University of Johannesburg an important milestone in the history of the University was achieved when, Photovolatic Technology Intellectual Property (Pty) Limited ("PTIP"), a South African company which is a subsidiary of the University, entered into a license and Technology Transfer Agreement with IFE Thin Film Technology GmbH & Co. KG ("IFE"). IFE is a German company with more that twenty-five years experience in the development and commercialisation of the use of renewable energies in Germany and Europe . This license agreement represents a milestone for the University in terms of which technology developed at the University ("PTIP Technology") is to be commercialized on an international scale.
The entering into of this agreement is a result of at least 13 years of research, innovation and experimental work conducted by Professor Vivian Alberts into the development of intellectual property and proprietary know-how pertaining to photovoltaic technology. This technology includes a method of producing homogenous group I-III-VI quaternary or higher order alloy semiconductor films, associated designs of production equipment and facilities to manufacture thin film photovoltaic products. The technology has been tested for purposes of commercialisation from laboratory scale to pilot plant scale. Substantial funding for the pilot plant was provided by the Innovation Fund Trust as part of the South African Government's initiative to promote ad support innovative department programmes. In terms of the license agreement, IFE has been granted, inter alia, a license to construct and operate the first manufacturing facility to use the PTIP Technology for the manufacture of photovoltaic products.
While financial benefits flowing from the license agreement, which was the result of lengthy commercial negotiations between the parties cannot currently be discussed, PTIP, the University and IFE all expressed their satisfaction with the transaction concluded and are confident it will facilitate the successful commercialisation of the PTIP Technology. It is anticipated that IFE will be investing in excess of Euro 50 million in the project.
Further, in terms of the long-term strategy of PTIP and of the University, there are plans to commercialise the PTIP Technology beyond the first license agreement. PTIP is committed to ensuring that the technology is efficiently and successfully installed and commissioned.
PTIP and the University believe that South Africa as a whole will benefit from the commercialisation of its technology by the influx of foreign exchange, the development and improvement of the technology through international commercialisation and the creation of training and job opportunities in South Africa.