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Ravini Portrait

Not every day, you come across someone whose career path is the perfect culmination of years of hard work, skills development, and continuous learning to prepare her for what she will need in her new role as Technology Transfer Director at Stellenbosch University’s Innovus. It is as if Ravini Moodley is building this perfect career puzzle where she molds every piece perfectly to place it at the right time, in the ideal spot.

“It has been a long journey,” she said, “one that started in Durban, where I grew up and completed my matric.” After school, she embarked on her study career at the University of KwaZulu Natal and Pietermaritzburg for her B.Sc. undergraduate and honours degrees, specialising in microbiology and plant pathology. She then joined the Agricultural Research Council and later the National Department of Agriculture. During this time, she received a scholarship and the opportunity to embark on her master’s degree in technology and innovation management at the University of Sussex in Brighton, England. Returning home, she resumed her position at the Department of Agriculture – provincially and nationally. She then left the public sector to manage a non-government organization (NGO) called the Institute for Inventors and Innovators in Johannesburg, without knowing that in 2023 she would end up with Innovus, helping incubate innovations and inventions of upcoming South African entrepreneurs.

Staying on the innovation trajectory, Ravini joined the Technology Innovation Agency of South Africa, managing some of their investments in the Agri-Biotech portfolio while exposing her to the workings of setting up and managing public-private partnerships in research and development. Staying with research, Ravini joined the CSIR in Pretoria as their senior commercialisation manager, where she worked for five years.

Before joining Innovus, she also had a short stint as a director for innovation and contracts at the University of the Free State. Having to travel between Bloemfontein and Pretoria, could have been better, but she nevertheless gained valuable insights into the world of innovation at a South African university. Moving over to Stellenbosch, was the logical next step, only this time she is bringing her family with her. “My kids and superstar of a husband, who has been taking care of everything whilst I have been away, will join me here soon,” she says.

She firmly believes that universities are the backbone of society that will provide the strength to face the complex future, together. “South African universities have given us amazing world leaders in diverse sectors.”

Ravini is super excited about her new role at Innovus. “SU is a technology transfer leader in the country, and I am excited to think that the interventions we develop here can ensure that knowledge is translated to impact in South Africa and globally.” Her dream for the Technology Transfer office is to be the place where researchers can come to see how we can work together to ensure their work will have the impact they want to achieve. “Research is always done with a vision of tomorrow, so researchers are playing in the future already. We at Innovus must pave the road for researchers to achieve their goals and help them define their path for economic, social or enivironmental impact.” “The world has changed immensely, and the environmental and energy crisis force us to think differently. And here in the beautiful town of Stellenbosch, one can think differently, consider concepts like the circular economy and prioritise sustainability in technology development. We certainly need to think differently to change our future for the better,” says Ravini.

She is excited to learn and work with the team of Innovus and the broader Stellenbosch University community. “I am also excited to have my family here soon so we can spend our weekends on the beach and enjoy the outdoors in this beautiful environment.”

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