By Malcolm Meja
LOCAL innovation centre, Science and Advanced Global Innovation Technologies (SAGIT), in partnership with the Ministry of higher and tertiary education, science and technology development yesterday launched the Atlas convention in Harare.
The Atlas Convention is an integrated technology and economic transformation initiative, which is set to transform the innovation agenda in Zimbabwe.
The convention, which will be running under the “IGNITING INFINITE POSSIBILITIES”, aims to convert innovation potential to commercial products and services, which will steer economic growth in the country.
Running from March 30 – April 2, 2020 at the Harare International Conference Centre (HICC), the Atlas Convention will draw participants from industry, government institutions and universities.
Speaking at the launch, SAGIT executive chairman, Tamuka Macheka said the idea came from realizing most local industries are spending massive capital importing equipment and technology, yet the country has talented human capital capable of innovating and manufacture locally.
“This initiative is set to redefine the innovation agenda in Zimbabwe through creation of opportunities for collaboration between industry and academia that transcend conventional organizational boundaries,” said Macheka.
Speaking at the same event on behalf of the Minister, Higher and tertiary education Permanent secretary Professor Fanuel Tagwira said the convention will bridge the gap between academia and industry.
“This initiative will help bridge the gap between academia and industry, setting the stage for the establishment of a broad-based economy with a more diverse industry and export portfolio,” said Tagwira
“The convention brings together government, private sector and the academia as it seeks to further open up and enhance the innovation space by driving economic development through innovation. This will also assist Zimbabwe in the attainment of Vision 2030: Zimbabwe becoming and upper an upper middle-income economy” he added.
“I am pleased to say that our country has a huge store of innovative talent with great potential to provide solutions to the country’s most pressing problems. The universities and colleges in the country are showing a great amount of innovation and if properly harnessed, the impact on our economy will be significant,” he said
Government applauded the efforts by the SAGIT in taking the initiative to in bridging the gap between academia and industry with a global perspective to develop Zimbabwe.
“The ever-changing business environment in the world today calls for the formulation of innovative multi pipeline and bridging concepts with a global perspective. In Zimbabwe the call for innovation is growing louder and louder as the country realizes that innovation is crucial for continuing success of a country” he added.
Prior to the Convention ear marked for March next 2020, SAGIT will run an innovative challenge, were from the 25th of November, university and college students will present innovative projects and compete.
Winners of the Innovation Challenge will get the opportunity to exhibit at next year’s Emirates Foundation’s Think Science World Fair 2020 in Dubai.
Furthermore, the Atlas convention will usher in the Atlas innovation index, which together with the Ministry of Higher and Tertiary Education, Science and Technology Development will catalogue innovation efforts in the country.
More so, the index will keep record of research outputs from local universities and colleges as well as manage, administer and audit the records.