INSTITUTIONS of higher learning have been urged to embrace a culture of innovation and research and contribute to economic development. Speaking at a workshop on technology transfer in Mutare on Tuesday, director responsible for technology transfer in the Ministry of Higher and Tertiary Education, Science and Technology Development Mrs Rungano Karimanzira said education must generate knowledge.
“The country has adopted a new education curriculum, which has a bias towards modern technological trends,” she said.
“Students and institutions should take advantage of new and emerging technologies from local and external sources and use their knowledge to contribute to the GDP and poverty reduction.”
Mrs Karimanzira urged institutions to establish trans-disciplinary collaborative platforms for technology and award programmes to celebrate outstanding locally developed technologies and innovators.
“There is no culture of innovation, continual evolution and research, she said.
“You find out that most of these institutions do not even take exhibitions like Zimbabwe International Trade Fair seriously. I did a follow-up on an invention that was presented at this year’s ZITF by a certain institution, only to find that it had been dumped at their backyard. So, you will see that there is need to invest in Intellectual Property (IP) awareness campaigns and citizen engagement because the whole concept is still alien to most people in our institutions of higher learning.”
Mrs Karimanzira said innovation hubs at institutions of higher learning should promote “technopreneurship” and departure from consumerism.
“Technology generators should take lead in bridging the gap within the innovation value chain by transferring technology from laboratory to market and deliver new products and services, thus departing from consumerism, and at the same time improving our economy,” she said.