Innovation hubs spur industrialisation Minister Amon Murwira

 Gibson Nyikadzino-Herald Correspondent

THE establishment of innovation hubs at the country’s state universities has kick-started Zimbabwe’s industrial modernisation agenda through the pursuit of the Education 5.0 policy, which has so far seen the Government registering over 500 patents in various fields.

While addressing youth drawn from across the country during National Youth Day,  President Mnangagwa said his Government’s decision to involve institutions of higher learning in the revival of the economy through the provision of technical and research-based solutions in innovation hubs is paying dividends, .

Universities with innovation hubs and industrial parks so far are the National University of Science and Technology, Midlands State University, University of Zimbabwe, Harare Institute of Technology (HIT), Zimbabwe Defence University and the Chinhoyi University of Technology.

President Mnangagwa said innovation hubs and industrial parks will propel Zimbabwe’s modernisation and industrialisation through the local production of goods and services.

“So far through our innovation hubs at local universities we have registered over 500 patents and the Government continues to urge the young ones to take advantage of these hubs. If your idea excels, the Government will invest in it,” President Mnangagwa said.  

Some ideas hatched in innovation hubs have so far led to the commissioning of the Marula processing plant at Rutenga in Mwenezi and the production of medical and industrial oxygen at a plant near Feruka in Mutare by Verify Engineering, through the mechanism of the heritage-based solution.

At the HIT, innovation hubs have birthed national projects such as the ZUPCO tap card system, the fuel management system which provides a real-time fuel monitoring system, the electrical power transformers manufacturing, and the Local Authorities Digital Systems (LADS).

Higher and Tertiary Education, Science and Technology Development Minister Prof Amon Murwira said innovation is the basis of industrialisation and Zimbabwe needs to protect its patents through intellectual property law.

“Every industry that is here on earth is a result of innovation that came through an idea. It is through ideas that industry is given birth and through our innovation hubs, we are bringing our own ideas to industrialise the country towards Vision 2030 and attaining an upper-middle-income economy status.

“Industrialisation is the basis of this nation because it is also about the survival of the state. 

Once a nation has decided to go into innovation it is in the right direction. Out of these hubs, Zimbabwe is on the trajectory to restore its glory through innovation, industrialisation and modernisation,” said Prof Murwira.

He also said the progress so far registered from innovation hubs could not be quantified in monetary terms because innovation is a continuous process that the Government has been investing in since adopting the Education 5.0 Policy.   

 Director for Communications and International Relations at HIT, Mr Tinashe Mutema, said the construction of the innovation hubs has seen a steep rise in the university’s research and development, innovation and commercialization outputs.

He said the HIT innovation hub has improved the quality of locally developed goods and services.

“The hub has increased the availability of quality locally developed goods and services that contribute to national modernisation. 

“It is also supporting the viability of young companies and concepts while facilitating them to have local, regional, and even global impact,” he said.

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