21 January 2022 | Story André Damons | Photo André Damons
Mrs Ravini Moodley, newly appointed Director for Innovation and Contracts in the Directorate Research Development

Ravini Moodley, newly appointed Director for Innovation and Contracts in the Directorate Research Development at the University of the Free State (UFS), is looking forward to engaging with research teams and finding ways to support them in getting their research to make the impact that they envision.

Moodley, a mother four kids (two of which are doggies), took up her new position on 1 October and says she is working with a fantastic team under the leadership of Dr Glen Taylor (Senior Director: Directorate Research Development). The Human Resources team and the Kovsies spirit helped her to settle in quickly. 

“I am really excited to have joined the UFS team. One of the lines that really inspired me from the UFS strategic plan: ‘The University of the Free State will strive for social justice in everything it does. It will be an institution where its diverse people feel a sense of common purpose and where the symbols and spaces, systems and daily practices all reflect commitment to openness and engagement,’” says Moodley. 

Always been interested in science and technology

Moodley, who grew up in KwaZulu-Natal, but has lived in Gauteng for many years, says her time with her family is really special and they enjoy hiking and being outdoors. She enjoys gardening, reading and scrapbooking. She worked in the agriculture sector before working in technology transfer. “I have always been interested in science and technology from watching ‘Beyond 2000’ as a child, to studying Microbiology and Plant Pathology at university and now I love working in the Intellectual Property and Technology Commercialisation space.”

Moodley says her new position is similar to her previous one at the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research though the mandate of the universities and science councils are quite different. Science councils often have to translate research into industrial application and universities having a broader mandate in teaching and conducting research all the way from basic to applied research. 

Looking forward

She says she is looking forward to getting to understand the different areas in which the UFS conducts research. It is also an interesting time to be at the university with new ways of working and new roles for higher education institutions being developed to ensure that new knowledge is created and directed towards improvement of society in an inclusive manner. 

“Research is usually a long and difficult journey, culminating in choices at the end on whether to publish or protect the intellectual property for commercialization. If we start thinking about how we want the research to impact society and ourselves from early on in the process, it may help us to open up more pathways to achieve that envisaged impact. If managed effectively it does not have to be a choice of whether or not to publish, but rather how to protect the intellectual property effectively before publication.”

What she wants to achieve 

Moodley says she would like to help showcase the technologies from the University and tell the incredible stories of the impact that UFS technologies are making on social, economic and environmental improvements in the region.
“Another area in which I would like to do more work, is to enable more and stronger engagement between industrial partners and the UFS. Stronger collaborations with industry will give UFS staff and students exposure to real technical needs in production environments and will give industrial partners a window into the exciting research being done at our university. 

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