In its efforts to promote innovation in Malawi, the National Commission for Science and Technology (NCST) has established a Technology Transfer Officer (TTO) at the Malawi University of Business and Applied Sciences (MUBAS) in Blantyre.
On Tuesday, the Commission organized an inception ceremony for the office, which has been established under the MUBAS INNOVATION POD PROJECT, which the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) is funding to the tune of US$1.5 million.
Speaking at the event, MUBAS Vice Chancellor Professor Nancy Chitera said the office will help researchers and innovators in science-related programmes to find markets for their innovations.
“As a country, this is the way to go if we want to fully promote our innovators. This office will now give more room for researchers and innovators to find different opportunities after introducing a certain innovation,” said Chitera.
She added, “Every year, we have been holding designs competition where young people with great ideas and innovations came to show off what they are capable of doing, but after that they are not helped on how they can scale up there innovations to have a significant to the communities so with the coming in of this office we will be able to mentor our innovators and scale them up for the benefit of our communities. The talent is there and we at MUBAS have got innovators that go even globally, so I say with the coming in of this office we will now be able to control our innovators for the benefit of the whole nation.”
Director of Higher Education in the Ministry of Education, Dr. Levis Eneya, said the establishment of the office is a right step in the promotion of science and technology in Malawi.
Eneya said the office will enable the university to upscale different innovations that members of staff and students are doing into commercialization.
“We will be able to take the innovation from a laboratory to something of commercial value beyond what was discovered in the lab. This will help to solve problems that we have in terms of solutions that we have been looking for to move this country forward,” he said.
NCST Acting Director General Gift Kadzamira said the Commission will continue supporting, coordinating as well as regulating the science and technology sector in Malawi.
“So, TTO is an issue that is more related to innovation hence coming with it at the university. The office will help the innovators to have social economic benefit to the users in the country as they will be able to identify, guide the innovators and Patten them so that those innovations are of use by citizens in the country,” he narrated.