By | March 15, 2018

Namibia University of Science and Technology (NUST) Launches Tech Innovation Hub in 2018

FROM LEFT: Victor Ashikoto, ICT Executive: Namibia Ports Authority; Dr Anicia Peters, Dean: Faculty of Computing and Informatics; Her Excellency Pirkko-Liisa Kyöstilä: Ambassador of Finland to Namibia; Dr Tjama Tjivikua, NUST Vice-Chancellor; Honourable Faustina Caley, Member of Parliament; Dr Heike Winschiers- Theophilus, Faculty of Computing and Informatics; and Jan Cotzee, Founder: Headway Consulting.

The Inclusive Collaborative Local Tech Innovation Hub (ICTIH) Project was launched last week at the NUST Innovation Village. The initiative, spearheaded by the Faculty of Computing and Informatics, is implemented with funding from the Finnish Embassy.

The ICTIH project aims at including minorities and vulnerable groups in the innovation processes. With a two-year seed funding from the Finnish Embassy, the Hub will enhance ICT innovation skills for a minimum of 300 young community members at selected rural and urban pilot sites. The project aims to ensure that products developed by marginalised young people enter the market successfully.

The Ambassador of Finland to Namibia, Her Excellency, Pirkko-Liisa Kyöstilä said: “In the Finnish development policy we put a strong emphasis on the empowerment of marginalised groups. Moreover, the inclusion of the private sector into the development cooperation is an undisputable direction of today’s development policy all around the world – also in Finland and in Namibia. This Hub project connects the two important key areas in an innovative way.”

Dr Tjama Tjivikua, the NUST Vice-Chancellor added that he is confident the Hub will be able to make some headway in building bridges between talented youth and those looking for talent. “Our challenge lies in getting the right talent supported by the right people in the right environment, ” he said. He further appealed to the private sector to become partners getting involved in the tech innovation processes.

The project stems from the CodeBus Africa initiative, that was organised last year as a part of the Finland 100 years’ celebrations. In the CodeBus Initiative, NUST operated as a local partner in training young people around the country about creative coding and technology in general. The tech innovation hub with its inclusive and collaborative approach will contribute broadly to the national innovation system.