Inventors request facilities for R&D
Harare (New Ziana) –The Zimbabwe Inventors Association is requesting the government to provide its members with facilities to conduct research and develop their creations, an official has said.
In an interview with New Ziana, ZAI president Ignatius Nyongo said facilities were critical for their members to develop prototypes for commercial production.
“We are appealing to the government to assist inventors with facilities including equipment, laboratories, workshops for research and development,” he said.
Nyongo said the government could follow the concept that it implemented in state universities, where President Emmerson Mnangagwa introduced Innovation Hubs to drive the country’s industrial modernisation agenda.
The idea behind the innovation hubs was to encourage tertiary institutions to think outside the box and implement the results based Education 5.0 policy to build the country into an upper middle income economy by 2030.
So far universities with innovation hubs and industrial parks include the National University of Science and Technology (NUST), the Midlands State University (MSU), the University of Zimbabwe (UZ), the Harare Institute of Technology (HIT), the Zimbabwe Defence University (ZDU) and the Chinhoyi University of Technology (CUT).
At the HIT, innovation hubs have birthed national projects such as the Zimbabwe United Passenger Company tap card system and the fuel management system which produces a real-time fuel management system.
“Zimbabwe is doing better than other African countries to support inventors, but it can do more,” said Nyongo.
He said in 2002 the ZAI identified a place where it wanted to establish an innovation hub but it failed to secure funds to purchase the land.
Nyongo said the ZAI also entered into an agreement with the Harare Polytechnic College some time back to use its workshops, but the arrangement did not work out due to clashes in the times when the facilities were available, as students also wanted to use them.
He said sometimes the workshops would be closed after working hours and during weekends, the time when most inventors wanted to use them.