During 2005 the newly formed Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University undertook a review of all operational entities of the former Port Elizabeth Technikon and the University of Port Elizabeth with the view to formalize activities within such entities. Three units of the former Port Elizabeth Technikon, namely the Port Elizabeth Technikon Catalysis Research Unit (PETCRU), ChemQuest (semi-commercial analytical laboratory of the Port Elizabeth Technikon’s Chemistry Department), and the Materials Resource Centre, decided to amalgamate to form one operating entity called InnoVenton. This entity was formerly registered by the NMMU as “InnoVenton: NMMU Institute for Chemical Technology”.

At the start of the 2006 academic year, InnoVenton was awarded a “Technology Station” by the Department of Science and Technology’s Tshumisano program and the management committee of InnoVenton decided to incorporate the activities of the Technology Station into InnoVenton to form InnoVenton: NMMU Institute for Chemical Technology and Downstream Chemicals Technology Station (abbreviated as InnoVenton/DCTS). As of July 2017 the university was renamed the Nelson Mandela University.

InnoVenton: Institute for Chemical Technology is a formally registered Research Institute at the Nelson Mandela University, whose principle research focus is in Product and Process Development. The Institute strives to be self sustaining through income generated from services to industry, income from technology transfer projects and royalties from patents.

The Institute incorporates the Downstream Chemicals Technology Station, a Government funded initiative to make available high level research, technological services and training, to technology based Small and Medium Enterprises, and South African Industry as a whole.

Strategic Priorities

  • Increase effective collaboration
  • Align resourcing
  • Build core technological capability
  • Customer Focus
  • Ensure optimum balance of leverage (Services/Technology Development/Research)


We encourage our Staff and Students to: Dream. Innovate. Create.

Our Vision

To Dream, Innovate, Create. InnoVenton aspires to grow into a Technology Centre supporting the bioeconomy strategy.

Dream refers to the ability to conceptualize new solutions and an aspirational attitude,

Innovate refers to the ability to use what is available and known in new ways to overcome challenges,

Create refers to the intention to deliver outputs that generate impact.

Our Mission

InnoVenton is an entity of Nelson Mandela University embedded in the Faculty of Science with the purpose to leverage its position and resources to develop, implement and support technology in the chemical/biochemical and related sectors for tangible socio-economic impact that supports local, regional and national priorities.

InnoVenton mission statement is:

To develop (chemical/biochemical & related) technologies for (socio) economic impact in support of the DSI Bioeconomy strategy.

InnoVenton is placed within the Nelson Mandela University Faculty of Science as an Engagement Institute. The entity is aligned most closely with the Faculty strategic priority 2: Develop and cultivate an engaged, innovative scholarship culture that generates knowledge recognized for its contribution to sustainability.

Institutional alignment with Nelson Mandela University is through shared values and engaged innovative scholarship culture that generates knowledge recognised for its contribution to sustainability.

Additional alignment is achieved with outside stakeholders and interested parties such as the Technology Innovation Agency and the Department of Science and Innovation, who are direct funding partners.

Services offered

  • Technology Support Services,
  • Technology Development,
  • Basic Research In the following Focus Areas:
  1. Microalgae Cultivation Microalgae Biomass and
  2. Biomass fractionation/refining Thermochemical Processing and
  3. Chemical conversions of microalgae biomass Formulation: Biomass/Biomass fractions (focus on microalgae biomass)
  4. Organic Process Development.
  5. Cosmetic Formulation.