The Sunday News
ACCORDING to ikeinstitute.org, achieving growth that generates economic value and social benefit requires a structured approach that binds an organisation’s strength and aspiration with that of its stakeholders and partners, thus creating an innovation capability that is scalable and sustainable.
The blog further argues that having such a capability gives the freedom to public or private sector organisations to develop an ethos of entrepreneurship and the ability to experiment with different choices. An innovation hub presents a compelling platform for harnessing capability, focusing investment and stimulating enterprise. The key to successful innovation hub development is to cluster the organisation’s capability around new and emerging economic areas of growth. Clustering delivers constructive alignment between a business strategy and the innovation focus, thus improving speed of response and enhancing the quality of new offerings for the organisation.
Experts say innovation hubs can be physical or virtual and their structure and characteristics are determined by strategic goals. They can be implemented at a regional or city level, or as part of a company, a college or a public sector organisation to provide the vital knowledge exchange environment that stimulates creativity and accelerates innovation. Hubs can be formed as an autonomous single unit or as a network of distributed but interconnected thematic entities.
In education, innovation hubs offer a natural fit with further education colleges in that they build upon the relationship that a college has with local business and industry, and provide a means of collaborative engagement to develop commercial solutions, underpin educational provision and extend outreach and civic activities. Three determinants characterise the modus operandi of innovation hubs, they: act as a catalyst for driving organisational change, create the basis for a multiplication factor for growth, become an instrument for attracting capital investment.
The Government has challenged local universities to use innovation hubs to come up with solutions to reignite the economy. Innovation hubs, which are a brainchild of President Mnangagwa, provide a platform for innovators and researchers to develop their inventions up to prototypes with the aid of experienced staff in the area of technical skills development, entrepreneurship and business incubation.
“We introduced innovation hubs at our universities. In the past 18 months that we have so far after introducing these innovation hubs, we now have over 90 patents or inventions done by our children. We thank them for that. We have brilliant boys and girls in this country. Going forward, we can see that our country is going to be transformed by inventions by our children and skills from our children. We are a developing country but we should not cry that we have sanctions imposed on us. We should look at what God has given us and develop our country. Those who want to come and assist us, they should do so on our own terms.
“We don’t want them to come and lecture us or rule us. They should rule their countries and we rule ours. This is our country. To you the schoolchildren, we will do our best as Government to make sure you are exposed to modern science and technologies because the future of this country lies in science and technology, in yourselves creating employment, jobs and products and services for the nation. The future is upon you. It’s your duty to develop our country for it to be at par with other countries,” President Mnangagwa said last week, while addressing Banket residents during a clean-up campaign at Kuwadzana Shopping Centre.
President Mnangagwa said Government had declared 2020 the year of productivity and trade, adding that Government will continue with the engagement and re-engagement drive with all countries of the world.
We implore universities to work hard to make sure that innovation hubs make a significant contribution in the country’s road to economic recovery.