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Africa University Sets Up Innovation Hub

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By Kenneth Matimaire

 Mutare, October 13, 2017 – AFRICA University (AU) in Mutare has set up an innovation platform - i5 Hub - at its campus as higher education institutions are taking an active role towards the country's industrialisation and economic turnaround exercise, an official said.

 AU vice chancellor Professor Munashe Furusa said the i5 Hub allow creatives a space to brainstorm ideas, fully develop them, copyright and patent as well as pitch them to industry under the same roof.

"Africa University is deeply involved in the agenda of the industrialisation and modernisation of the country. We are going to be the first university, we are now, to have a innovation hub. It's something that is not seen at any university. 

"This innovation hub is a place people go to develop ideas, about new businesses, technologies and new processes. And they go through the whole process even commercialisation and pitching up their product to industries. So it's set up in such a way that somebody will go there to think of an idea and fully develop it through there. And be able to copyright, patent that idea and pitch it to industry," he said.

The i5-Hub represents ideation, incubation, innovation, intellectual property and industrialisation.

The university has also partnered with other strategic entities outside the education sector to develop more innovation hubs.

AU is also in the process of retooling its research labs on health sciences (two), agriculture (nine), five in agriculture and resources, and four in agriculture engineering.

Prof Furusa said they are also doing cutting edge research for malaria eradication, technology for soil testing and recommends type of fertilisers used among others.

AU is part of the Vice Chancellor's Task Force (VCT) where Prof Furusa sits as the secretary.

VCT was set up by the Ministry of Higher and Tertiary Education in an effort to transform the country's higher education sector into becoming STEM and business driven entities that have capacity to revive ailing economy.

The VCT comprise of six vice chancellors, eight ex-officio members and two additional members comprising the secretariat.


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