McLean Sibanda is currently the Chief Executive Officer of The Innovation Hub, the innovation agency of Gauteng Province, South Africa. He has held senior and executive positions in private and public sector organisations, including being Intellectual Property Team Leader and Principal Research Officer at Element Six (formerly De Beers Industrial Diamonds), Associate at Adams & Adams Attorneys, Senior Patent Attorney and Acting Executive Director at the Innovation Fund, and Group Executive for Commercialisation at the Technology Innovation Agency (TIA).
An admitted attorney of the High Court of South Africa, as well as a registered South African patent attorney, he has wide experience in innovation, intellectual property (IP) policy and management, technology transfer, working with startups and IP commercialisation. He has served as an expert to both the Southern African Development Community (SADC) and the African Union (AU). He continues to serve as a resource person to the World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO) on a number of IP and innovation related matters. He has also served as an expert to the Department of Science and Technology (DST) on the review of Tanzania National System of Innovation and was the lead drafter of the Intellectual Property Rights from Publicly Financed Research and Development Act and its Regulations, on behalf of the DST.
He has served on the Boards of the CSIR, JM Busha Asset Management, Meniko Records Management Services, and Blue Cube. At present, he Chairs the Advisory Board of the National IP Management Office (NIPMO) and is Deputy Chair of the Hydrogen South Africa (HySA) Advisory Board. He also serves on the Board of Trustees of the Agricultural Technology Foundation (AATF, Kenya) and Chairs the Board of QualiBasic Seeds (Kenya, South Africa, Zambia). An immediate past Treasurer of the International Association of Science Parks (IASP), and immediate past President of the IASP African Division, in September 2017 he was appointed President of the IASP Advisory Council.
McLean has just completed his Doctorate of Laws (PhD) with University of South Africa (UNISA) and his thesis was entitled, Enabling Intellectual Property and Innovation Systems for South Africa’s Development and Competitiveness. He also holds a Masters degree in Engineering from University of the Witwatersrand (Johannesburg), Masters of Laws (LLM) (Commercial Law) (UNISA) degree.