Government Calls for University-Industry Collaboration

Article   Peter Bwanali   June 17, 2024
PIC: Gwengwe ( right) visibly excited with high-tech facilities at the UniPod

Minister of Trade and Industry Hon. Sosten Gwengwe MP, says the University Innovation Pod (UniPod) will play a critical role in the country’s industrialization drive. 

Gwengwe made these remarks on 24 May 2024 at the Malawi University of Business and Applied Sciences (MUBAS) when he toured the high-tech innovation hub to appreciate how the University PoD can fit in his ministry’s industrialization drive as the country seeks to move from a net importer to a net exporter.

"We can do a lot more with these laboratories and therefore collaboration with the industry is paramount so that we can commercialize our innovations and that way we can achieve import substitution drive and also uplift the plight of our small and medium enterprises,’’ he said.

The Minister who was accompanied by officials from the Malawi Chamber of Commerce and Industry (MCCI) during the tour, said his ministry and MCCI will support the UniPod to commercialize some of its services for self-sustainability.

"The UniPod here has its competitive advantages and its unique offerings and we would like it to partner with the industry players so that we create a win-win situation between the PoD and the industry. The PoD can only make money if it collaborates with the industry players,’’ he further added.

In her remarks, MUBAS Vice-Chancellor, Associate Professor Nancy Chitera, said her institution wants to be a leading player in innovation and research, to contribute to the actualization of the Malawi 2063 vision. 

"We have created so many spaces here apart from the UniPod, such as the Industrial Park, the Design Studio and other spaces just to give a chance to our innovators to test and explore their innovations and inventions,’’ said Chitera.

The UniPod was established with financial and technical assistance from the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) as a centre of excellence for innovation and idealization and was officially opened on 6 March 2024 by His Excellency Dr. Lazarus McCarthy Chakwera, President of the Republic Malawi. 

 

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