In collaboration with the Make-IT in Africa project run by Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH on behalf of the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ), Co-Creation Hub (CcHub) has announced a new co-funded initiative to support innovation within African universities.
The new program, known as UNI:NNOVATORS Startups-in-Residence, will see CcHub sponsor 30 student-led startups in Nigeria, Namibia, and Kenya in an effort to deepen and hasten the involvement of academic institutions in the developing innovation ecosystem throughout Africa.
The chosen startup teams will take part in a design sprint to develop prototypes of their research-based inventions for green technology and smart city solutions in particular industries, including agriculture, energy, circular economy, water, and healthcare.
Following a pitch performance, 18 of these student-led teams that succeed will engage in a knowledge exchange with top experts in their disciplines and have the chance to fly to Germany for hands-on workshops that will strengthen their prototypes. Then, as needed, they will work with industry partners to construct and deploy their MVPs through the use of funding and advisory services.
In order to highlight the crucial role that higher education institutions play in the larger innovation ecosystem on the continent, the program will end in a two-day summit in Nairobi, Kenya, where companies will present to an international audience of investors and stakeholders.
The idea is that we will be able to assist the numerous innovations driven by research that Masters students, PhD students, and even undergraduate students are developing in our universities to address some of the most pressing and complex problems facing our continent, according to CcHub.
Six schools of higher education from the three selected nations will collaborate with CcHub.
We will collaborate with the Universities of Ibadan and Lagos in Nigeria. We will collaborate with Namibia University of Science and Technology and the University of Namibia in Namibia. We will collaborate with the Universities of Nairobi and Riara in Kenya,” it stated.