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BIH is perturbed by low uptake of home-grown products

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  • Says is could dampen zest for creativity
  • Appeals to businesses for funding and investment

TLOTLO KEBINAKGABO

Botswana Innovation Hub (BIH) is perturbed by the low uptake of home-grown innovations by both public and private entities, the organisation’s Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Alan Boshwaen, has said.

Speaking during the Innovation Day 2019 in Gaborone recently, Boshwaen said this presented a problem to innovators looking to enter the market and scale up because it could discourage their zest for creation.

As a national innovation agency, BIH is charged with building a vibrant innovation ecosystem, promoting and supporting innovative entrepreneurship, forging partnerships to deliver high impact projects and solutions, and housing innovative entities in Botswana’s first purpose-built Science and Technology Park (STP).

BIH also helps with market access for innovators because “we want to see home-grown innovators reach the pinnacle of success by being listed on a stock exchange”, Boshwaen said. He disclosed that BIH was implementing an acceleration programme to support innovators with targeted and specialised interventions so that they may hone their proficiency in finance and investor pitching.

BIH will dedicate itself to improving market access through facilitating an intersection of private and public sector demand with innovative solutions. “In this regard, we are on a drive to enlist the Top 1000 Digital Innovators to be ranked according to their technical capabilities and completed projects,” he said.

“The innovators will be given opportunities in the form of challenges from both the public and private sectors to develop new digital services or digital businesses.”

Speaking at the same event, the Assistant Minister of Tertiary Education, Research, Science and Technology, Moiseraele Goya, appealed to sponsors, particularly in the private sector, to come forward with funding native innovators and investing in home grown projects.

Goya said innovation ought to act as a catalyst to Botswana’s transformation to a knowledge-based economy. “ As a matter of fact, the transformation to a knowledge-based economy requires innovation and governments, research institutions, businesses, the private sector and private investors to work together,” he noted.

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