University-wide Innovation Summit Workshop Conducted

 

As part of an endeavor to launch HU-Innovation Community, foster academic entrepreneurship, and create business startups, the Office of University-Industry Linkage and Entrepreneurship Development in partnership with IBA-Ethiopia Center of Innovation hosted an innovation summit on Thursday, May 9, 2019.

The summit was an opportunity to launch and build the capacity of the innovation community to participate in the upcoming African Innovation Week, of which international investors and entrepreneurs gathered to provide funding for academic entrepreneurs in Africa.

Access to seed money, finance from venture capitalists, angel investors, international financial institutions, and coaching and mentorship are some of predetermined opportunities available for academic innovators at the event.

Consequently, directors, deans, associate deans, representatives of local industries from Haramaya, Harar and Dire Dawa cities, representatives of students, potential innovators with novel and commercially sound ideas such as: technologies, research outputs, startups and business ideas and other stakeholders were participants in this innovation summit.

The summit focused on three issues such as: innovative research output in commercialization and decent job creation; narrowing the gap between academic innovation and investment; and the role of innovation hubs (African Innovation Week) in addressing investment challenges to innovations.

Director of University Linkage and Entrepreneurship Development, Dr. Mitiku Eshetu said “Haramaya University has enormous research outputs and has long experience of research and development work. However, most of the research outputs were not commercialized, and it is high time to create awareness among the staff, students and the community to be involved in generation of innovative ideas that could be incubated and finally commercialized for the benefit of the innovator, the community and the country at large,”

Dr. Mitiku emphasized that innovation as central issue for economic prosperity, and commercialization of innovative ideas as the way through which economic prosperity could be realized.

The directorate has established a technology business incubation center, where innovators from all field of study can submit their business ideas and compete for awards. The winners will have the opportunity to be linked with different funding organizations and industries

Mr. Ashenafi Mulugeta, Executive Manager of IBA-Ethiopia, said that youth unemployment and its impact on social coherence and political stability; challenges related to high cost of living and incapability of employees’ salary to cover their cost; and due to these and other similar issues entrepreneurship is not an option but it should our priority.

According to Mr. Ashenafi the first African Innovation week will be undertaken in Addis Ababa from October 28 to November 1, 2019. The mission of this African Innovation week is creating a platform to gather and accelerate innovative African start-ups to come together and share their experience, get connected with potential investors, executive bodies, game changers and work together for sustainable and inclusive growth of Africa

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