The Sunday News
Nqobile Tshili, Business Correspondent
GOVERNMENT has released $5 million to five local universities for the procurement of equipment to be used in innovation hubs as most of them are nearing completion, Cabinet Minister said.
Last year, Government introduced the innovation hubs concept at higher and tertiary education institutions to promote novelty among students. The products that are going to be developed at the innovation hubs are expected to be commercialised and help in modernising the country.
Higher and Tertiary Education, Science and Technology Minister Professor Amon Murwira told Sunday News that the Government has released funds to equip innovation hubs.
“By the end of last year which is in December, for each of the universities we sent them a million US dollars each to start buying equipment so that by the time the infrastructure is finished, the equipment is there as well. So we also have got equipment budget even to increase this year,” said Prof Murwira.
“We don’t want the innovation hubs to be a physical structure, only we want them to be equipped. The innovation hub idea is already across all universities. What we are building is the physical infrastructure and the equipment which is within, so we have already provided $5 million for equipment so far.”
He said the innovation hub at Chinhoyi University of Technology has been completed, just like the one at Midlands State University while the one at the University of Zimbabwe was nearing completion. Prof Murwira said the innovation hub at the National University of Science and Technology (Nust) could have been completed last Saturday with the Harare Institute of Technology hub also nearing completion.
Meanwhile, he said his ministry wants to benefit from the Memorandum of Understanding that was signed with Botswana last week in the areas of science and technology.
“Science and technology co-operative with Botswana will entail that we exchange scientific information and do joint projects in science and technology. As you know we are strengthening the country in its capacity to use science and technology for modernisation and industrialisation. It’s exactly what we are trying to do. We are having co-operation with Botswana in that area and I’m very happy that we were able to reach an agreement very fast,” he said.
He said areas of interests in co-operation are in the field biotechnology, information communication technology, water minerals and all those areas which promote heritage-based science and technology.