UZ innovators shine at award ceremony
Sifelani Tsiko Innovations Editor
University of Zimbabwe academic researchers and students walked away with cash prizes at the just ended 2022 UZ Research Innovation and Industrialisation Week awards ceremony.
The winners were honoured for the development of new technology and the creative application of existing technologies to solve problems facing the country in critical areas such as biomedicine, computing, communications, energy, materials, web and transportation as well as the cultural industry.
Tinomudaishe Chipoyera won a ZWL$250 000 cash prize for the best student presentation followed by Lydia Mugayi who won ZWL$200 000 and Tadiwanashe Chiweshe ZWL$175 000.
In the senior researchers category, Dr Hatirarami Nezomba won the first prize (ZWL$400 000), Dr Rumbidzayi Masina got the second prize (ZWL$300 000) and Mr Sydney Togarepi, third prize – ZWL$200 000.
The institution held the fourth edition of the University of Zimbabwe Research Innovation and Industrialisation Week recently to showcase new frontiers of knowledge and emerging technology that seeks solutions to some of the national and community problems.
UZ vice chancellor Prof Paul Mapfumo said his institution was pushing for the actualisation of research, innovation and industrialisation outputs as part of efforts to find solutions to the country’s problems.
“We are so proud of our innovators. As an institution we are implementing and delivering the government’s heritage-based Education 5.0 philosophy which aims to promote the country’s technological advancement, research and innovation,” he said.
Eleven other winners were each awarded ZWL$2 million in the best exhibition category.
“In the Best 11 Exhibitions category, each winner is getting ZWL$2 000 000 ZWL of which 80 percent is for further development of their research and innovation efforts or prototype development and 20 percent for their personal use,” said UZ executive director of research innovation Professor Florence Mtambanengwe.
Among others, the winners included Dr Terrence Wenga who was honoured for developing window frames from aluminium waste can beverage, Prof Jephat Chifamba for the development and optimisation of albinistic cosmeceutical skin care product range, Dr Ignatius Mabasa – Digital Ngano, Farirai Masocha – Livestock Monitoring System app, Innocent Maposa – Smart Accounting Mobile App, and Dr Sungai Mazando for developing novel yeast strains for commercial opaque beer production.
The competition sought to encourage students, academic researchers and innovators in various disciplines to develop an entrepreneurial skill set and generate entrepreneurial ideas that aimed to find solutions to some of the country’s pressing problems.
The annual showpiece was held under the theme: “University of Zimbabwe: Actualisation of a Research-Innovation-Industrialisation Ecosystem Model for Zimbabwe’s Economic Development.”