Our government partner in Tanzania, the Ministry of Communication, Science and Technology (MCST) is also responsible of Tanzanian universities of science and technology. As an outcome of a recent workshop the MCST organised, they realised there is a need for the universities to take a deeper look into the different mechanisms universities can use to support entrepreneurship and innovation.
We at TANZICT were happy to help with this, so jointly with MCST and COSTECH, and of course the universities themselves, we organised three workshops between 21st and 29th of October. The first one was in Dar es Salaam Institute of Technology DIT, second in Nelson Mandela – African Institute of Science and Technology NM-AIST in Arusha, and the third one in Mbeya University of Science and Technology MUST.
The universities selected the participantsinternally, and we had professors, lecturers, research group leaders as well as people from human resources or intellectual property offices. In each place we had two days. In the first day the universities presented on their strategies and plans, and COSTECH presented on current science and technology innovations. Kristiina and Iiro from TANZICT did a presentation on definitions, necessary resources etc on the following topics:
- Technology transfer centers
- Techno- and science parks
- Entrepreneurship labs and communities
- Mainstreaming entrepreneurship
- Enterpreneurship courses and degree programmes
- Living Labs
There were a lot of interesting questions and discussion. Some of the participants had no previous knowledge of business incubation, for example, so it did seem useful to go through the basics.
On the second day of the workshop, each participant chose one of the topics to work on. The work was done in groups, and the focus was to look at the topic, for example pre-incubation, and the fit for their university in ter ms of their goals, resources and strategy. ‘
The goal of the day was to recognise the most important issues and develop some action items to start taking the initiatives forward. Another goal was to think critically on whether these intiatives actually are a good fit for the university. At the end of the workshop teams presented their ideas and action plan to others.
The next steps are now in the hands of the participating universities. They need to decide whether they actually want to start implementating something, and if yes, what and when. TANZICT will help to go deeper in to the topics and support the planning, once the decisions have been made.
We had a good time working with the enthusiastic people from the universities and look forward to further collaboration. If there are other universities who would like to go through a similar workshop, please be in touch with TANZICT Chief Technical Advisor Kristiina Lähde at email@example.com