The Medical Devices industry has experienced tremendous local and international growth in recent years. The DTI has also recognised this as a key industry in SA. Within SU, there have been noticeable increases in the numbers of requests from multi-disciplinary students for new BME degrees.
The purpose of the IBE is to strengthen existing Biomedical Engineering (BME) activities and continue building capacity across the Stellenbosch University Faculties of Science, Medicine and Engineering. The IBE enjoys broad- based institutional support. BME is intrinsically inter-disciplinary and requires a team for success. However, in Stellenbosch University BME has historically not been available as a post-graduate degree direction for Scientists and Medical graduates, only as a research direction within Engineering. For this reason, an important mandate of the IBE is to implement new BME degrees in Stellenbosch University. Additional mandates include the consolidation of disparate BME efforts across Stellenbosch University, initiating new research programs both locally and internationally, synchronizing with the Medical Devices Industry and Government in Southern Africa, commercializing products arising from these efforts and, from all of the above, developing a long-term sustainable Business model.
The Strategic Objective
The IBE’s vision is to become a lighthouse of academic excellence, in both the students it graduates and the research it develops, with a focus on solving African problems.
- We will offer new post-graduate interdisciplinary BME degrees and a steady stream of academic research and publications in international journals.
- We will unify the efforts of different departments/faculties through the interdisciplinary practice of BME, to produce research and innovations to better society.
- We will strengthen staff and student diversity.
- We will actively seek and engage with staff and students from diverse communities, including those previously disadvantaged . This is in alignment with our existing African and International collaboration network. We are a member of the African BME Consortium (ABEC) and the ARUA network.
- We will focus on ‘synchronizing’ with industry to create jobs, commercialize innovations and alleviate poverty within South Africa and the African continent as a whole.
- We will continue to build a collaborative framework for innovative research.
- Using an inclusive and progressive orientation, we will continue to engage with local and international institutions with common interests and shared goals.
- We will aim to achieve long term financial self-sustainability by attracting diverse primary, secondary, tertiary and other income sources through a combination of the above goals.