UCT Innovation staffers Piet Barnard and Sipho Mtsweni have received two of the four Commonwealth Professional Fellowships that were allocated to southern Africa this year.
Barnard and Mtsweni will send three months in a research and innovation office at universities in the United Kingdom. The programme, for practitioners in their mid-careers, aims to enhance the skills relevant to development issues for those working in developing countries.
The two became aware of this opportunity through Dr Tony Heher, director of UCT Innovation and president of the Southern Africa Research and Innovation Managers Association (SARIMA), who together with the Association for University Research and Industry Links (AURIL) and the Association of Commonwealth Universities (ACU) in the UK facilitated the fellowships.
Barnard will be hosted by Queens University in Belfast from November this year to January, 2004, while Mtsweni's host institution, though not confirmed, is likely to be Warwick University where he will work from January to March, 2004.
Mtsweni awaits the trip with anticipation, saying: "I have not prepared for their winter season."
The two will also visit other universities and organisations specialising in economic and regional development, as well as research funders and will participate in selected conferences and training programmes.
"I am really looking forward to this opportunity and hopefully I'll come back a wiser person, with knowledge that would be to the advantage of UCT," Barnard said.