Tanzania: Udom Widens Scope On Young Innovations

THE University of Dodoma has embarked on a rare approach of transforming part of its scientific research into practical solution as it attempts to expand the contribution of the higher learning institution in addressing social and economic challenges.

Professor Ainory Gasase, speaking on behalf of Deputy Vice-Chancellor in-charge of Academic, during a presentation of prototypes developed by students and academic staffs, said the plan is to ensure the products address common problems in the community.

UDOM, which has been collaborating with the Commission for Science and Technology (COSTECH) had invited innovators, students and researchers to pitch some unique ideas that can be developed into practical solutions.

The Project Lead, Prof Flora Fabian had said over 100 ideas were submitted, but only 40 were invited for pitching. Basically, she said a total of 12 ideas were selected.

Prof Gasese said the university has been impressed with the projects which mostly focused on technological innovation and wanted the institutes' directorate of research, publication and consultancy to ensure they are supported up to the final stage of production.

The new prototypes include a digital registration system, examination and research paper evaluation, financial management system, administration and cheque clearance systems.

"These are ideas that can be developed to address our own problems," Prof Gasese said, emphasising that doors are open for the institution to collaborate with other innovators.

Dr Ambrose Kessy, Director of Research, Publication and Consultancy said the university worked with COSTECH to turn researches into innovative projects.

He said at least 10 prototypes among the 12 projects had potential to graduate into practical solutions that will help solve problems in the society.

"The expectation is to ensure that we maintain at least one or three of these ideas," he said.

The university was concerned, however, that most of the impressive ideas have been innovated but only to be developed by outsiders as their own.

COSTECH Principal Research Officer, Dr Daniel Mgori said the country had potential of promising innovations. He said the competition of science, technology and innovation (MAKSATU) is still accepting innovation ideas for financial support.

In Africa, Tanzania becomes third after South Africa and Kenya in the 2019 global innovation index. It is a leading country among the lowincome countries followed by Rwanda and Nepal.

Asia Tulia, a student at the University of Dodoma, thanked the university for creating the platform for students and teachers to share their innovative ideas, asking for the commission of science and technology to also continue supporting upcoming innovators to improve their products.

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