The MUST Innovation Programme is an umbrella programme aimed at promoting a climate of innovation in the MUST community as well as to the general public. The programme also serves to create and strengthen the necessary linkages required to enhance innovation and innovativeness. The following programmes are part of the lab:
UTIG is a concept developed to provide the necessary space for conceptualisation and development of innovations for various applications. the ideation space will be used to select and refine innovations or innovative ideas, the mentorship space will be 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. The output for this last element will be a prototype.
In addition to this, the garage will also support incubation and spin off companies through the University’s structures.
Key Researcher: Robert Mkandawire
The CISS is a community intervention component of the programme that has a primary focus on developing innovation and innovativeness among community members, especially those in the rural areas. This will be done by supporting and building their capacity in developing the said innovations and helping them develop and embrace a culture of innovativeness. This comes from the understanding that people leaving in communities have a better understanding of the various issues they face, and ca therefore develop practical innovations to deal with said problems while at the same having the potential to develop innovations that can be applied for a wider scale.
Key Researchers: Dr Mandayachepa Nyando,Tamara Nyirenda
This component will be jointly implemented by National Commission for Science and Technology (NCST), Kamuzu Academy in collaboration with Press Trust and Ministry of Education Science and Technology (MoEST). Firstly, a Secondary School Science and Innovation Identification framework will be developed to facilitate the identification of young people in secondary schools. Secondly, the component will build on the Annual Secondary School Science Fair and Exhibition to further identify innovative ideas and technologies. Thirdly, a mentorship framework will be developed to provide the required support to the junior innovators. This will be linked to the MUST Innovation Academy. Finally, a strategy to support junior innovators access higher education will be developed in line with the VC Innovation Award.
Innovation is a means to boost economic growth and social development. Industrialists are interested in creating innovation ecosystems that connect multiple innovation actors (e.g. universities, research institutes, business firms, etc.) to cultivate favourable environments for innovators to pursue value synergistically.
The broad objective of the programme in line with the application of innovation is to contribute to increased competitiveness and innovative capacity of the industrial sector in Malawi. Thus, by promoting all forms of innovation, the proposed programme will support and strengthen innovative ability and competitiveness of the community as a whole. The programme also intends to encourage companies to invest in research and development (R&D) that can enhance competitiveness, increasing growth opportunities and promote sustainable value creation.