University of Cape Town: UCT’s new iNtaka Centre for Law & Technology attracts its first substantial grant

The University of Cape Town’s (UCT) Law faculty has established the iNtaka Centre for Law & Technology and its novel LawTechLab, which have since attracted its first substantial grant.

The legal profession is fast embracing the capability and flexibility provided by technological innovation to ensure that lawyers, legal professionals and the practice of law are able to thrive in the digital era.

To contribute to these rapid developments, UCT’s Law faculty has established the iNtaka Centre for Law & Technology and its novel LawTechLab. Focused on examining and interacting with changes in the realm of law brought about by technology, the centre serves as a nexus where the intersection of law and technology can be explored, and the interplay between multi-disciplinary learning and research – centred on technology, regulation, innovation and human rights – can flourish.

The pace of advancement in technology, and the legal and social ramifications of developments in this field have critical implications that will be fully investigated and engaged with by the centre. The iNtaka Centre for Law & Technology fulfils the distinct need for the development of expertise, skills and resources among legal practitioners, policymakers, government officials, non-profit organisations, and innovators in the field of digital regulation, intellectual property, and data laws.

Substantial contribution

With implementation and project development well under way, and with the centre in its new space in UCT’s Kramer Law Building, Schmidt Futures has recognised the importance of the iNtaka Centre for Law & Technology by providing a substantial grant. Schmidt Futures is a philanthropic initiative founded by Eric and Wendy Schmidt that bets early on exceptional people who try and make the world a better place.

“There is strong alignment between the centre’s work and the goals of Schmidt Futures ISF initiative.”

Schmidt Futures, described as a “talent initiative”, is focused on supporting, among others, people with new insights to solve hard problems in science and society, and people seeking to join together in a network of the sharpest minds to “make more of a difference to more people, in more places”.

The Schmidt Futures grant will enable the iNtaka Centre for Law & Technology to grow and to contribute substantially to the African network component and programming for the Schmidt Futures’ International Strategy Forum (ISF). One of the centre’s first contributions will be to host a gathering in July this year of leading technologists, policymakers and innovators from across the continent.

Streams of activity

The centre’s streams of activity are built around teaching and learning; policy and applied research; and outreach and engagement.

“There is strong alignment between the centre’s work and the goals of Schmidt Futures ISF initiative,” said the iNtaka Centre director, Associate Professor Tobias Schönwetter.

Enthusiastic about the work of ISF, and the centre’s capacity to support this work, Associate Professor Schönwetter continued: “With ISF’s focus on building networks of talent, and Schmidt Futures support for the centre, iNtaka is well positioned as a great partner to support ISF generally, and to support in particular the development of ISF-Africa.”

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