Varsities urged to invent solutions to industry’s woes
UNIVERSITIES have been urged to come up with possible solutions to problems affecting the country’s industries to improve people’s livelihoods.
The Deputy Minister of Information Communication Technology, Postal and Courier Services, Dr Win Mlambo, also said it was important for tertiary institutions to commercialise their innovations.
Dr Mlambo said this yesterday while addressing academics at the Research and Intellectual Outputs Science, Engineering and Technology (Rio-Set) expo at the National University of Science and Technology (Nust) in Bulawayo.
The four-day conference, which is being attended by academics from all tertiary institutions in the country, started yesterday and is running under the theme “Growing the Zimbabwean economy through innovations.’’
“The plethora of parallel exhibitions by our STEM students and young ICT innovators should not be mere showcases, but an opportunity to patent and subsequently commercialise these promising and relevant research outputs,” Dr Mlambo said.
He said all innovative efforts must end as solutions to many problems that industries are facing and the creators must end up rich.
Dr Mlambo said it regrettable that only a few local innovations have been commercialised while developed countries hastily commercialise their innovations and make millions of dollars in the process.
“Efforts by the Government include the unveiling of a $25 million innovation fund to support specifically ICT based innovation projects by our youths. The fund is meant to accelerate innovation by improving the ICT resource allocation process and provide venture capital loans in support of new technological projects,” said Dr Mlambo.
He said the fund would be launched in Bulawayo in October.
The development towards innovation, he added, is Government’s top priority as it spurs the growth of ICTs and technology in the country.
“A 10 percent growth in ICTs contributes one percent to the national GDP and this can be accelerated by stimulating innovation. The development of ICT directly impacts on meeting the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs),” said Dr Mlambo.
He said the Government was proud of the organisers of Rio-Set because their efforts contibute immensely towards development. — @pamelashumba1
Dr Win Mlambo