Understanding Tanzania Innovation Program (TIP) Part 1: universities and colleges

There are a number of different things that TANZICT is working on Component 3: Tanzania Innovation Program (or TIP), so we decided to make a series of posts to try to make it simpler for different stakeholders. In this Part 1 of Understanding the Tanzania Innovation Program we are highlighting the possibilities and areas of collaboraboration for universities, colleges and other higher education institutes.

Here is the overall objective of TIP:

Tanzania Innovation Program aims to create a seamless ICT innovation chain from ideas to pilots, raising awareness of innovations as drivers of economic and social development.

And here are the ways and tools for working towards it:

1) Innovation, entrepreneurship and business skills development at undergraduate level (“pre-pre incubation”)

TANZICT can provide training and short-term supporting staff on:

  • entrepreneurship education and programs
  • tools, processes and environments for innovation projects within universities
  • establishing business development and incubation programs
  • creating models for industry collaboration and co-creation
  • enhancing students’ creativity and problem-solving skills.

What TANZICT expects from participating universities:

  • commitment to the agreed plans and schedules
  • providing participating staff with necessary resources (especially time) to implement the activities at home institutions
  • support for the students working on their projects and business ideas.

2) Pre-incubation program

TANZICT is running a 6-month pre-incubation program at Tanzania Commission for Science and Technology (COSTECH) for early stage business ideas taking advantage of ICT and having some development impact. Objective of the program is to build a working demo or prototype of the product, test it in the market and build a business model around it. Call for applications for the program is open two times a year and it will be ideal for graduates and students in their last year of studies. If necessary, the participants can apply for supporting funding to implement their idea. More details on the incubation page.

3) TaFinn Exchange program

TANZICT has funding for study and research exchanges and knowledge-exchange trips for Tanzanian and Finnish academics, students, ICT entrepreneurs and innovators. The exchanges need to be related to the themes of the project. Ideally collaboration activities between participating Tanzanian and Finnish institutions. We will open an call for applications for the exchange program by May 2012 when the program procedures have passed our board meeting.

What TANZICT expects from participating universities:

  • Sharing the information about the TaFinn-program on campus
  • Using the program to make lasting research, collaboration and business contacts.

If business opportunities are recognized during the visit, Finnpartnership-program is designed to support joint Finnish-Tanzanian business ventures.

4) Community activities, training and networking in ICT-related business and innovation

TANZICT has opened an innovation space at COSTECH to enable the tech community to start working together on projects, sharing ideas and knowledge, and organize various community events and training sessions. Goal of the innovation space is to create a local developer and ICT entrepreneur ecosystem, similar to what has created a significant boom at other emerging ICT capitals of Africa. Innovation space can be used as a free of charge event venue for up to 60 people as long as events are open for the community. Innovation space also provides students and staff with a place to get connected and work on projects and meet people. Best way to find out about what is coming up is to follow our events page or read the summaries from the blog.

What TANZICT expects from participating universities:

  • Share information about opportunities and events for students and staff
  • Can use the innovation space to interact with developer community, as a project lab, to organize open events related to ICT, take part in events and training to learn about new technologies and developments, etc..

How to join TANZICT activities?

We can simply meet and just set a date for the different activities and potential trainings and start to work from there. If we need to hire a trainer or a consultant for some activity, our steering committee must approve the contract. If your institution would like to formalize the joint activities with an MoU, we can also do that.

Any questions or ideas for next steps? Comment below or contact us directly.

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