Innovation hubs gain traction

Source: Innovation hubs gain traction | Sunday Mail (Local News)

Harmony Agere

As Government takes a robust stance to foster research-based industrialisation in line with Vision 2030, Treasury has disbursed over $26 million for the construction of six innovation hubs and industrial parks at higher learning institutions.

Two innovation hubs have already been commissioned at the University of Zimbabwe (UZ) and at Midlands State University (MSU)

Those at the Harare Institute of Technology (HIT), Chinhoyi University of Technology (CUT), National University of Science and Technology (NUST) and the Defence University are on the commissioning line.

On industrial parks, CUT has already set a $3 million artificial insemination programme which has the capacity to generate at least $130 million annually, while boosting livestock production.

Higher and Tertiary Education, Science and Technology Development Minister, Professor Amon Murwira said the projects were partly funded by the 1 percent budget allocation set aside for research by Treasury.

He said the developments are in line with the Education 5.0 model launched by the Government last year to promote innovation and industrialisation in pursuit of home grown and research-based solutions to the country’s socio-economic needs.

“I can confirm that most of the (innovation hubs) facilities are now practically complete,” he said.

“We are moving ahead with the programme and for innovation hubs, we have invested over $20 million so far.

“We have disbursed a further $6 million to UZ and CUT for the development of industrial parks. The CUT project, which is an artificial insemination programme, is already in place.”

Innovation hubs are meant to incubate abstract concepts into fully-fledged products and services that can compete on both the local and international markets.

The hubs are part of Education 5.0, which empowers universities to enter into strategic partnerships with industry in order to produce consumer products.

The innovation hubs concept is meant to refine Zimbabwe’s education system, which has been criticised for failing to produce innovative students.