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VIBRANT INNOVATION ECOSYSTEM NECESSARY
30/10/18
VIBRANT INNOVATION ECOSYSTEM NECESSARY- GABORONE - The local economy needs to develop a vibrant innovative ecosystem since innovation offers new direction in economic and social growth. Speaking during the inaugural Botswana Innovation Fund (BIF) awards ceremony on Thursday in Gaborone, Vice President Slumber Tsogwane pointed that government had placed new emphasis on innovation and technology uptake as the new mode of growth for the economy. 
He said this was because innovation was a key enabler of the next wave of economic development.
VIBRANT INNOVATION ECOSYSTEM NECESSARY GABORONE - The local economy needs to develop a vibrant innovative ecosystem since innovation offers new direction in economic and social growth. Speaking during the inaugural Botswana Innovation Fund (BIF) awards ceremony on Thursday in Gaborone, Vice President Slumber Tsogwane pointed that government had placed new emphasis on innovation and technology uptake as the new mode of growth for the economy. He said this was because innovation was a key enabler of the next wave of economic development.

VIBRANT INNOVATION ECOSYSTEM NECESSARY, GABORONE - The local economy needs to develop a vibrant innovative ecosystem since innovation offers new direction in economic and social growth.
Speaking during the inaugural Botswana Innovation Fund (BIF) awards ceremony on Thursday in Gaborone, Vice President Slumber Tsogwane pointed that government had placed new emphasis on innovation and technology uptake as the new mode of growth for the economy. 


He said this was because innovation was a key enabler of the next wave of economic development.
“We as a country are moving towards a new phase in inculcating a culture of innovation. 
Our economic environment is being reshaped by new industry and technological trends which are disrupting business models and fundamentally changing the nature of work,” said the Vice President.


To promote the use of science, technology and innovation in the socio-economic and business spheres, Mr Tsogwane said government had established key priority policies to guide the development of new innovations.
He explained that one of the measures to promote innovation was the establishment of Botswana Innovation Fund, which offers comprehensive support to start-ups in the form of incubation and accelerator programmers, financing business expansion and shared office space at a subsidised rate. 


The Vice President said the fund would assist in providing grants to support early stage prototypes and concepts to enable them to attract funding through banks, venture capital and private equities.
The awards ceremony, held at the Botswana Innovation Hub Science and Technology Park, following a series of activities of the second installment of the Innovation Botswana 2018, saw seven successful proposals that were selected based on the most compelling concept, value, and impact getting awards and grants. 


The companies were; Eco Hub, which uses plastic waste to innovatively make flat pack Eco Bricks that would build affordable houses, and Kebalepile Technologies & Innovation, which is a mobile based application that allows the user to make payments before they start their journey to visit Botswana, which enhances security.
Other companies were Aeronautical Solutions, which provides solutions for aerospace, electronics and telecommunications engineering disciplines, and Pyro Carbon Energy, whose concept is to build a containerised plant that would convert poultry litter into high value products, namely biochar, bio-oil and biogas, while simultaneously providing cost effective, environmentally friendly, and safe waste disposal.


There was also Smartcom, which is a mobile application that communicates with a micro-controller equipped with wireless control functionality that is integrated to the current smart prepaid electricity meter, and Intelligent Traffic Management System project, which is about developing traffic lights control system that mimic police officers in a way that it controls traffic, and Motheo Technology, which solar-powered electric generator would adopt the latest and state-of-the-art solar PV and battery technologies, where higher power output capacities would be realised at smaller physical sizes.


Minister of Tertiary Education, Research, Science and Technology, Mr Ngaka Ngaka said government was fully committed to supporting innovative projects that have potential to contribute to the growth and diversification of our economy.
“We cannot overemphasise the importance of economic diversification. 
Government has singled out technological innovation and adaptation, as well as the development of business linkages between small, medium and micro enterprises (SMMEs) and large companies as some of the critical drivers of economic diversification,” he said. Mr Ngaka stated that the objective of BIF was aligned to the long established Economic Diversification Drive. BOPA

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