Mbarara University of Science and Technology launched a Centre for Innovation and Technology Transfer (CITT) on 14th June 2019 graced by Hon. Minister Dr. Elioda Tumwesigye – Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation. The new Centre that was approved by the University Council in March 2018 is a permanent home for all innovations, experiential learning and technology development. It coordinates the potential innovations, skilling and technology transfer at MUST.
CITT is expected to lead, coordinate and mentor faculties and other academic/research units in the overall innovation, technology development and transfer; and commercialization of products by both staff and students of MUST. The Centre focuses on prototyping, commercialization and experiential learning that will complement the skilling Uganda programme. In implementing its activities, the Centre will use an innovative research-training-production model that will establish a cottage industry that can facilitate business development at MUST. The industry will skill graduates, other youth and community members within the region who would like to retool and gain more innovative skills for enhanced production and value addition.
The new Centre will house CAMTech project, Pharmbiotrac, business incubation units and other innovation projects within MUST and scale their activities to other levels. The Centre will also run innovative short courses that will feed the production units. “We are destined to succeeding because the journey of innovation started way back and every year we hold a hackathon” Dr. Data Santorino, the Centre Ag. Director commented.
As a way of streamlining the governance of the Centre, management appointed the CITT Advisory Board of ten members chaired by Prof. Nixon Kamukama, the Deputy Vice Chancellor Academic Affairs.
Hon. Minister Dr. Elioda Tumwesigye admiring a product made at MUST. Next to him is the Vice Chancellor Prof. Celestino Obua and Deputy Vice Chancellor in Charge of Academic Affairs Assoc. Prof. Nixon Kamukama
The Minister of Science, Technology and Innovation pledged to support the Centre, “my ministry has streamlined policies and programmes for innovations. You should therefore quick start science parks.’’ The Vice Chancellor Prof. Celestino Obua thanked the Minister for the support always given and requested to have more support to develop CITT. He also pointed out the need to mentor and involve students in CITT programmes since this is a huge opportunity to harness their skills and increase innovations. The VC encouraged the innovators to aim at developing preventive innovations than only concentrating on the curative approach. Various exhibitions portrayed a progressive MUST. Among these were; Sanidrop, Prisms, zero rape, Mamaop, Augmented Infant Resuscitator (AIR), PHARMBIOTRAC-medicine, lotions and juices. CITT is the first of its kind in a university set up in institutions of higher learning in Uganda.
SUCCEED WE MUST!