The Malawi University of Science and Technology, through the Centre for Innovation and Industrial Research has joined a national committee responsible for organizing the 2020 National Schools Science Fair (NSSF). The event which is sponsored by the Press Trust and hosted under the National Commission for Science and Technology is coordinated by the Kamuzu Academy.
CIIR will take a leading role in drafting the strategic document for the programme and link its objective to similar initiatives in the SADC region. In addition, CIIR will be mentoring the best students from the programme through the MUST Technology and Innovation Academy. Best technologies will also be identified and will be linked to the MUST Technology and Innovation Garage for commercialisation. The Garage, provides the necessary space for conceptualisation and development of innovations for various applications. The ideation space is used to select and refine innovations or innovative ideas; the mentorship space is used to develop innovation ideas through mentorship from a set of identified mentors relevant to the innovation and the partnership and commercialization space will be used to link innovations to relevant markets. Innovators are expected to produce a prototype at the end of their mentorship period.
The NSSF was introduced in 2009 by Kamuzu Academy and it has been implemented with several stakeholders including Anglia Book Distributors, Arkay Plastics, Lab Enterprises, Airtel, Malawi Institute of Engineers and MALSWITCH. The aim of the NSSF is to promote the scientific and technological innovations in students, as a basis for socio-economic development in Malawi. Specifically, the programmes aims to: (i) to encourage creativity and innovation among students (ii) enable and encourage students to explain daily life experiences (iii) to encourage positive attitude towards science (iv) foster understanding of climate change and associated problems then devise mitigation measures and (v) encourage students apply scientific knowledge in solving pertinent issues in their communities and lead in suggesting solutions.