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NUST VC secures international patent for new material

NUST VC secures international patent for new material

A weather-resistant, flame-retardant material invention with the potential to reduce the cost of housing in Namibia has been patented in Germany, by a local team of scientists under the leadership of Dr Erold Naomab, the Namibian Principal Investigator of the research project.


The new nanocomposite construction derivatives are stronger than cement-based products but are expected to be much cheaper, scientists claim. The research was conducted by researchers in Namibia and Germany and took a decade to complete, including the final stage of intellectual property protection.

“Scientific work is lengthy, requires dedication and tenacity, but it is always worth it in the end”, says Naomab.

The innovation is filed under the title ‘Weather-Resistant, Flame-retardant Composite Material’. The invention relates to a method of producing a composite material, with an alkaline binder made from alkali silicate water glass, an organic gel former and silica particle, and a biological carrier. The composite material is particularly stable, flame-retardant, and suitable for outdoor use according to EU construction standards. The global World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO) protection, under the Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT) is also expected to be released soon”, says the Principal Investigator.

Other important members of the Research Team include Reinhard Bernd, Becker-Willinger Carsten, Bukowski Mirko, Stuurmann Aibate, Hatago Naomas, Leonoritha Roswitha and Cheikhyoussef Ahmad. The inventors and innovators include four Namibians and their three international partners. The file is open for public viewing at


All the raw materials for the invention are abundant in Namibia and have met the EU regulations and standards for use in construction material. The patent is awarded at a time when Namibia is struggling with a housing crisis that has seen the proliferation of shanty towns on the periphery of the capital and several smaller towns. One of the contributing factors of the growth of informal settlements is the high cost of construction material. While this invention doesn’t immediately solve all the challenges related to this housing, it is one giant step in the right direction.

It is widely reported that as of 2018 there were at least 995 000 people living in shacks in urban centres around the country. This would be significantly higher today. This new Namibian invention has the potential to lower the cost of construction for houses, leading to an improved quality of life for many in the country.


The method of manufacturing the weather-resistant, flame-retardant composite material is now available for local and global investors. The licensing agreement is facilitated by the world-renowned Leibniz Institute for New Materials based in Germany. The raw materials for manufacturing are derived from Namibia and have met EU importation and construction standards. The invention is currently conferred protection under the German patent law. The global WIPO protection under the Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT) is expected to be released soon.