UCT can help form another Silicon Valley

05 March 2007 | Story by Newsroom

An international expert on biotechnology businesses says the University of Cape Town is ideally positioned to take advantage of the global boom in this rapidly-expanding science while fighting poverty at the same time.

Dr Jaleh Daie, a guest of the Cape Biotech Trust, addressed both the UCT graduate school of business at the Waterfront and the local branch of South African Women in Science and Engineering (SAWISE) at Welgelegen in February. She said that Cape Town provides sixty percent of the country's new, small and innovative biotechnology start-up companies, and holds the potential to become another Silicon Valley.

"South Africa, like any other country with a population of poor people, must focus on lifting people out of poverty. Biotechnology is a good way to do that," said Daie.

Daie also noted that biotechnology start-ups such as the 15 local companies supported by Cape Biotech Trust, many run by UCT graduates, provide a critical kick-start to South Africa's economic growth and have the potential to improve life for the poorest South Africans.

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