23 November 2022 | Story André Damons

The Department of Pharmacology at the University of the Free State (UFS), together with the Technology Innovation Agency (TIA), is hosting the first Indigenous Knowledge and Bio-Trade Indaba on the Bloemfontein Campus. The Department of Science and Innovation (DSI) and TIA are the sponsors of the event. 

Prof Motlalepula Matsabisa, Professor and Director of Pharmacology, will play host to the various stakeholders to network and share knowledge on current developments in indigenous knowledge research and product development, biodiversity, innovation, and commercialisation of the IK-based research products. The Indigenous Knowledge System (IKS) for Health unit in the Department of Pharmacology within the UFS Faculty of Health Sciences was last year awarded an annual Technology Innovation Agency Platform (TIA) grant of R17 million for the next five years.

The research and teaching programme in the School of Clinical Medicine has since been rebranded and is now known as the African Medicines Innovation and Technology Development Platform (AMITD), which will strive to respond to community health needs and address industry research needs and challenges.

The indaba will showcase progress made by TIA and other entities in enriching the development and commercialisation of IK-based innovations. It will take place from 24 to 25 November 2022 in the Equitas Senate Hall at the UFS. 

Prof Matsabisa is the chairperson of the World Health Organisation’s (WHO) Regional Expert Advisory Committee on Traditional Medicines for COVID-19. He is also a visiting professor at the Beijing University of Chinese Medicine (BUCM) in Beijing, China, and the Deputy President of the South African Society for Basic and Clinical Pharmacology.

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