In a historic development that is set to transform the University’s research trajectory and set the tone for national research aspirations, His Excellency, the President of the Republic of Zimbabwe and Chancellor of all State Universities, Cde Emmerson Mnangagwa on Wednesday 6 June 2018 officially opened the Midlands State University Incubation Hub.
The Incubation Hub, is the first of five other such facilities that are expected to be established by August 2018 at selected state universities that are piloting the concept. The Incubation Hub, which was born out of the 100/200 day action plan initiated by Government through the Ministry of Higher Education, Science and Technology Development, is designed to support the country’s industrialisation and modernisation efforts.
In his address, the President, commended Midlands State University for ‘daring to venture into an idea, which is bound to have a far-reaching influence and impact in Zimbabwe’ and called on universities to ensure that research is transformative and provides practical solutions to real problems.
Research, ‘must speak to our problems, be relevant, usable, practical and transform our lives to advance economic development. Research and Development must further speak to our aspirations to modernize our agriculture, mining, manufacturing, tourism, health and education sectors, among others, said President Mnangagwa.
The President went on to reaffirmed Government’s commitment to the development of science and technology as enshrined in the 2008 SADC Protocol on Science, Technology and Innovation, which calls on member states to allocate at least 1% of their GDP to support research and development. He said, Government would ensure that 1% of the country’s Gross Domestic Product is channelled to research and development.
President Mnangagwa, also urged would-be users of the incubation hub to undertake robust, relevant, qualitative and quantitative research that addresses and provides answers to issues of national significance.
Incubation hubs, according to the Minister of Higher and Tertiary Education, Science and Technology, Development, Professor Amon Murwira are meant to ‘enable active knowledge transfer between researchers and business experts, on the one hand, and industry as well as government on the other hand’.
The Minister’s sentiments were also shared by the Midlands State University Acting Vice-Chancellor, Professor Victor N. Muzvidziwa, who said the MSU Incubation Hub was the centrepiece connecting research, innovation, technology and the commercialisation value-chain.
The incubation hub will not only benefit the University’s researchers and academia but also members of the public from all walks of life that have ideas and innovations that can contribute to socio-economic development at local, provincial and national levels.
The official opening of the incubation hub was also graced by the Minister of State for Provincial Affairs in the Midlands Province, Cde Owen Ncube, Local Government, Public Works and National Housing Minister Cde July Moyo, Permanent Secretary for Higher and Tertiary Education, Science and Technology Development, Dr Desire Sibanda, ZIMCHE Acting Chief Executive Officer, Dr Evelyn Garwe and MSU Acting Chairperson Mrs Patience Makura among others.
In the words of three acclaimed poets on the day from Senga Primary School, who reiterated the new dispensation mantra, indeed ‘the Hub is Open for Business’.