WINDHOEK, Sept. 12 – In 2016, when the National Commission on Research, Science and Technology (NCRST) signed an agreement with Finnish initiative “Demola Network,” that effectively placed Namibia as the first African country to host a Demola chapter. The Finnish initiative operates in over a dozen countries across the globe, and now, Demola Namibia and NCRST teams hosted the Final Pitch for university students that worked on their innovation projects for a period of 3-and a half months.
Demola Namibia kicked off its second season on the 22nd of April 2017 and the team ventured south of Namibia to tackle two specific challenges: one was to solve the Keetmanshoop Municipality’s waste treatment crisis; and the second was a Finnish Consortium of Smart Communities piloting smart housing in Keetmanshoop.
Encouragingly, both partners have decided to license the projects for the next stage of research and development and eventual implementation.
The final pitch was held on 7th September 2017, signalling the milestones and hard work by the two groups of eight (8) students. The project not only exposed students to their peers, but also helped to facilitate co-creation projects between businesses, researchers and the students themselves.
NCRST Acting CEO, Enid Keramen challenged local businesses and industry leaders to bring forth their innovation challenges to the Demola team for local, customised and relevant solutions that are driven by the concept of co-creation, creativity and hands-on innovation work.
He said that: “This will help us in cultivating and growing the love of doing things for ourselves as a Nation and solving our own unique problems, eventually escalating us to the level of competitiveness. This way we will achieve much more by growing deeper relations, and fostering stronger collaboration, between the Industry, Government and Academia.” – Ignatius Mutasa