A new deal aimed at supporting renaissance of ideas and facilitating next-generation innovations and technology has been singed at Uganda's largest institution of higher learning.
The Makerere University School of Public Health-affiliated ResilientAfrica Network (RAN) and the National Information Technology Authority – Uganda (NITA – U) put pen to paper, in a collaboration that will see the organizations undertake joint projects to grow innovation in priority areas.
The collaboration will facilitate creation of scientific and research training networks and exchange of policy practices related to innovation. Makerere University School of Public Health Dean and RAN Chief of Party Prof. William Bazeyo was in high spirits after the agreement was concluded and said it will aid research, communications, innovations plus science and technology.
"We recognize the importance of partnerships and collaborations for leveraging resources and strengthening innovation management processes and achieving meaningful impact and social change," he said."In pursuit of promoting innovation activities in the region, RAN and NITA - U agree to partner in order to effectively tap into each organization's experience in nurturing and supporting innovations as well as their large networks of entrepreneurs, innovators, students, faculty, research scholars, private sector, government and development partners," said the NITA-U executive director James Saaka.
"It is not enough to offer financial support to innovators. How can we join hands and efforts to take some of these innovations to market? People should not move with their Innovations in their bags. Let them get out there and clog the market" he said.
He called for more sensitization to teach intellectual property to innovators so that "at no one time are they afraid" to share their innovations and ideas. "Because this is the only way they (innovators) can get publicized, but also attract additional support directed towards developing their innovations and ideas and accessing the market," he said.
Prof. William Bazeyo congratulated the Makerere University RAN Team who developed a 'Next Generation Tent' aka a tent that breathes. The tent, which was successfully tested in Kampala and Adjumani districts in Uganda, is among the many innovations the University has come up with, including the Solar Kayola bus.
The tent is pending final product tests scheduled to take place in Guinea next month and other "minor details" to be formally unveiled.
The RAN Chief of Party said: "We must be able to remain functional to help develop innovative solutions that are relevant to our communities' most pressing challenges."