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Minister Jorum Gumbo Tours MSU Incubation Hub and Industrial Park Site

The Minister of State for Presidential Affairs and Monitoring Implementation of Government Programmes, Honourable Dr Jorum M. Gumbo, toured Midlands State University`s Incubation Hub and Industrial Park on the 23rd of July 2020 on a monitoring visit for the 100-day cycle priority projects.

 In his remarks, Dr Gumbo marvelled at the rapid growth of the institution, which he attributed to a committed workforce. He was pleased by the projects currently being incubated in the Incubation Hub and commended the University for commercializing the hand sanitiser project, which has seen the University supplying several companies in the province and beyond.

“I am here to witness the successful implementation of the Incubation Hub despite the negative effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. The rapid results approach that the University has adopted is yielding positive results and the Incubation Hub is heavily involved in the fight against the COVID-19 through the production of hand sanitiser. The hub should grow to a level of self-sustenance and I would like to thank Midlands State University for their commitment and support of government initiatives,’ said the Minister.

MSU Vice-Chancellor, Professor Victor N. Muzvidziwa expressed gratitude to Hon. Dr Gumbo for visiting the University among other institutions to monitor the progress of the government-funded projects. He applauded the government for its financial support and noted that it is through such support that the University can achieve its set objectives.

Professor Muzvidziwa highlighted some of the government-funded projects that have benefitted the University.

“We are privileged and grateful to have received tremendous financial support from the government for the construction of the Incubation Hub and a Laboratory, the refurbishment of a factory structure at our industrial park as well as the construction of a new factory shell. The factory shell is intended to commercialise the University’s research output. Additionally, the University received funding for setting up a sanitiser production plant and the Indigenous Fruits and Herbs Project.” He added that the establishment of the Industrial Park is in line with the Education 5.0 philosophy, which will see the Institution achieving its objectives and mandate.

 The Vice-Chancellor also informed the visiting delegation that the government through the Ministry of Higher and Tertiary Education, Innovation, Science and Technology Development has committed to funding research that has the potential for innovation. It is in this context that MSU has enrolled 14 postgraduate students who are all on full government scholarships and who are all researching on Zimbabwe’s indigenous fruits and herbs. The outcomes of the research are expected to impact medicine, pharmaceuticals and beverages production among other products.

 Minister Gumbo was accompanied during the tour by the Vice-Chancellor, Professor V. N. Muzvidziwa, MSU Principal officers, the Chairperson of the Joint Operations Command, members of the Joint Operations Command (JOC), and several heads of government departments in the Province.

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Vice President Mohadi Tours MSU Incubation Hub

Vice President Honourable Kembo Mohadi, who is also the National COVID-19 Inter-Ministerial Task Force Chairperson, visited Midlands State University on Thursday 18 June 2020 to assess efforts being made by the institution in the fight against COVID-19.

MSU Vice-Chancellor, Professor Victor N Muzvidziwa briefed the Vice President on developments and projects being undertaken by the University in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

‘In response to the concerted efforts by our Government to contain the COVID-19 contagion, we have set up a sanitiser production plant … The plant will have a capacity to produce up to 7000 litres of hand sanitizer per day once the filling and labelling and packaging sections of the plant are automated. Currently, the production capacity of the plant is at 5000 litres per day’, he said.

Speaking after touring the sanitiser production plant housed at University’s Incubation Hub Laboratory, Vice President Mohadi, commended Midlands State University and outlined Government’s commitment to supporting research and innovation in line with Education 5.0.

‘We don’t want to have universities that produce people who go out to look for jobs, we want universities that produce jobs. We want students who after leaving university create jobs. We are very much impressed by what is happening at Midlands State University,’ he said.

Vice President Mohadi noted that the COVID-19 pandemic is not entirely a curse, but also a kind of a blessing because the nation has woken up to do things on our own. ‘We want to be self-sufficient’, said the Vice President.

Members of the National COVID -19 Inter-Ministerial Task Force and the Midlands Provincial COVID -19 Task Force accompanied the Vice President on his visit.

 

 

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Finance and Economic Development Minister Visits MSU

The Minister of Finance and Economic Development, Professor Mthuli Ncube visited Midlands State University on Friday the 24th of April 2020 on a familiarisation tour that was aimed at assessing projects being undertaken by the institution in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Professor Ncube, who was accompanied by the chairman of the National Venture Fund applauded MSU for stepping up to the plate in the wake of COVID-19 and for being a development catalyst in line with Education 5.0. The Minister’s multi-pronged visit was also meant to help him and his team to identify potential projects for funding.

‘I wanted to come here and see for myself how MSU is living up to the Education 5.0 strategy and its quite clear from what you have described that you are living that strategy and am here to see how we can further support you … we have created a National Venture Fund of 500 million dollars and we are looking for projects to invest in. So, I hope that through my walkabout here we will be able to identify one or two things that we can take forward and invest in’, said the Minister.

Professor Ncube also outlined the Government’s COVID-19 strategy as well as its post-COVID-19 strategy for economic recovery. He said in the case of the former, Government’s strategies were aimed at saving lives and livelihoods, while in the case of the latter strategies would be designed to boost and support economic recovery.

In his presentation, Midlands State University Vice-Chancellor, Professor Victor N. Muzvidziwa set out the various projects being carried out by the University in response to COVID-19 such as the printing of COVID-19 indigenous languages booklets that were translated by the University’s Language Institute, the manufacturing of hand sanitizer and face masks. He also highlighted other projects intended to generate third-stream income for the institution.

The Minister of Finance and Economic Development, concluded his visit with a tour of Midlands State University’s hand sanitizer manufacturing plant housed at the institution’s Incubation Hub, before going to the University Printing Press and face mask manufacturing site, both located in Gweru’s industrial area.

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Covid-19 Update Featured News Research News

MSU Joins the War Against COVID-19 through the Production of Hand Sanitiser and PPE

As the world continues to grapple with the spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19) governments, corporates, institutions and individuals across the world are coming together in an effort to save the lives of infected patients and to protect those that are working on the frontline among them healthcare workers and other essential service providers.

However, due to the disruptive effects of the pandemic, most counties do not have adequate personal protective equipment (PPE) and sanitary products which are needed to protect people from exposure. Zimbabwe like most nations has not been spared and is in urgent need of PPE, sanitary products and other medical supplies.

For this reason, the Government has made a clarion call through the Ministry of Higher and Tertiary Education, Innovation, Science and Technology Development for universities and colleges to spearhead research and innovation aimed at assisting the nation in the fight against COVID-19. Midlands State University has heeded this call and it is all hands on deck as the University is now manufacturing hand sanitiser and face masks.

The hand sanitiser, which was officially launched on Friday the 3rd of April 2020 by the Minister of State for Provincial Affairs in the Midlands Province, Honourable Senator Larry Mavima at the University’s Incubation Hub is part of preventative measures to help reduce the spread of the coronavirus.

Speaking during the launch of the hand sanitiser, the Minister of State commended Midlands State University for investing its resources and responding timeously to the need for sanitary products.

“Allow me to commend MSU for investing its intellectual and scientific resources to produce this hand sanitizer in a cost-effective manner … Government is looking to universities to dedicate their intellectual infrastructure, scientific knowledge and facilities to fight not only COVID-19 but other challenges facing our nation”, said Honourable Mavima.

In his address, Midlands State University Vice-Chancellor, Professor Victor N. Muzvidziwa said the alcohol-based hand sanitiser being manufactured by the University is in line with the World Health Organisation (WHO) standards.

“The World Health Organisation recommends that a hand sanitiser that can kill the coronavirus must have an alcohol concentration of 60% and above. I am happy to report that this sanitiser we are launching today has 70% alcohol concentration and is also manufactured from resources that have been mobilised locally”, said Prof. Muzvidziwa.

The production of the hand sanitiser is being led by internationally renowned chemist and member of the Midlands State University COVID-19 Task Force, Dr Gift Mehlana, whose team is working closely with the Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Research and Academic Affairs, Professor Doreen Z. Moyo. Production output is currently set at 5 000 litres per day, but this is expected to increase as the process becomes fully automated. The hand sanitiser is being packaged in 100ml, 200 ml, 1 litre and 5-litre bottles to cater for individual, household and institutional consumers.

On the other hand, to help alleviate the shortage of personal protective equipment (PPE), Midlands State University is also producing face masks, after consultations with members of the medical fraternity. The University is currently producing 3000 face masks per day, but again the number is expected to increase as new measures are being put in place.

Going forward the University is set to produce medical scrubs, nurse aid uniforms and surgical gowns, with the procurement of the raw materials already underway.

 

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Prof. Murwira Tours MSU Incubation Hub  

The Minister of Higher and Tertiary Education, Science and Technology Development, Professor Amon Murwira on Thursday the 17th of October 2019 toured Midlands State University’s Incubation Hub to assess the progress that has been made in the construction of the Hub’s laboratories.

The construction of laboratories at the Incubation Hub comes as the Ministry of Higher and Tertiary Education, Science and Technology Development is championing Education 5.0, whose main thrust is on education that causes industrialization and modernization. During his tour, Minister Murwira emphasised the importance of research and the role of the Incubation Hub in bringing about industrial development.

‘We all did research and at that point, there was no industry, but now we want to programme and deliberately sponsor research knowing very well the outcome,’ he said.

He reiterated the need to process patents in order to stimulate the labs into operation and highlighted various types of research that the Incubation Hub can harness to earn revenue.

‘We have other patrons who are informed by Heritage Based Development, that bases on indigenous fruits and trees to try and manufacture either pharmaceutical or food products under the Value of Trees and Herbs Program,’ he added.

Professor Murwira was accompanied on his tour by officials from his ministry as well as the MSU Vice-Chancellor, Professor Victor Muzvidziwa and other University officials.

#MSU_Zim

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MSU Google Developers Student Club launched

On Thursday the 26th of September 2019 a new student initiative, the Google Developers Student Club Midlands State University (DSC MSU) was launched at the University’s main campus in Gweru. The Club is a community of students drawn from various academic backgrounds, who together are expected to build a professional and personal network while getting access to Google resources to help solve localized problems in a peer to peer environment.

The Club was officially launched by the Executive Dean of Science and Technology, Dr Action Nechibvute at a ceremony attended by the Executive Dean of Students Mr Isheunesu Chaka, Director of the MSU Incubation Hub, Dr Charles Paradzai and the Student Development Officer, Mr Wellington Ilunga.
In his remarks, Dr Nechibvute explained the importance of technology-based clubs within the institution, noting that they were critical in championing technological development.

‘Let us create a benchmark as a Club that will see the institution and the surrounding community benefit from the good work that we are starting today,’ he said.

The birth of the Club has put MSU on the international map once again, as it is one of the Google DSC centres around the globe and one of only two in Zimbabwe. DSC MSU leader Marvelous Chirunga said, the MSU community has now been connected to other institutions around the world and will be of great value to the institution.
‘It is my utmost pleasure to tell you that we have been connected to other institutions in the world that have DSCs,’ he said.

Former MSU student and founder of Green Works, Mr Talkmore Sibanda said that ideas are useless if they are not implemented and put into action.
‘People are being paid for solving problems thus in the journey we have started, we need problem solvers who will earn money in the process,’ said Mr Sibanda.

DSC MSU’s launch comes shortly after the club president, Marvelous Chirunga has just returned home from the Sub-Sahara African Google Developers Student Club Summit in Accra, Ghana which took place earlier this month.

#MSU_Zim
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Government to Fund Innovators

The government has re-affirmed its commitment to improving the country`s national capability by funding people with good and innovative ideas in order to fulfill the National Strategic Intent to modernise and industrialise.

This was revealed by the Minister of Higher and Tertiary Education, Science and Technology Development, Professor Amon Murwira when he delivered a public lecture at the Midlands State University`s Gweru Main Campus on the 12th of April 2019. The public lecture titled, ‘The Role of Universities in Driving our Nation`s Industrialisation and Modernisation through the philosophy of Education 5.0.’ sought to unpack education 5.0 in line with the need to redesign and align the country’s higher education sector to the national strategic intent.

Professor Murwira said, his ministry has committed itself to fund great ideas and great innovations that will lead to the production of goods and service. He further emphasised the need for individuals and institutions to think outside the box, noting that good innovations will transform their business activities into major sources of revenue.

‘Some people think that if we give them money they will start having ideas, but then if I give you ten billion dollars today, will you start thinking? What comes first? I hope you understand. Good ideas lead to good money, not vice versa,’ he said.

The Ministry of Higher and Tertiary Education, Science and Technology Development has requested for 20 hectares of land from each of the country’s ten provinces for the construction of Industrial Parks, which will result in the transformation of knowledge and skills into services and goods. Meanwhile, incubation hubs at various state universities are at different stages of completion with Midlands State University`s incubation hub laboratories set to be completed soon following the disbursement of funds by the parent ministry.

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Nurturing Young Innovators

No matter how good an idea is, whether it becomes the next big thing or not, could come down to a single business pitch. As part of continued efforts to foster and nurture innovation and entrepreneurship among students, the Midlands State University Innovators Hub club held a project pitching seminar on the 3rd of April 2019.

The seminar, which was held at the University’s Incubation Hub, was facilitated by Mr Talkmore Sibanda, a Research Assistant at the Hub and Mr Marvelous Nyongoro, a 3rd year Accounting student and multi-award winning entrepreneur. During the seminar, participants were exposed to various ways through which, one can make a master class pitch based on the content they present, how they present it and the structure of the pitch.

Among those who attended the seminar was the Innovators Hub club patron, Dr Michael Bhebhe, under whose capable leadership the club has grown considerably.

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Doves Sponsors MSU Innovators Hub Club Challenge

In an effort to promote innovation and entrepreneurship among the youth, Doves in partnership with Elevate Trust has sponsored the first-ever Innovators Hub Club Hackathon at Midlands State University.

Three groups of students who are members of the Midlands State University Innovators Hub Club walked away $500 richer after excelling in the Doves Hackathon Innovation and Enterprising Challenge held at the University’s Gweru Main Campus on the 19th of November, 2018.

Midlands State University Incubation Hub Director, Dr Patience Siwadi urged students during the opening of the event to step out of the box and fully utilise the facility whose sole purpose is to develop ideas and commercialise them for the benefit of the student entrepreneurs.

‘You are at an advantage because you have so much information …what makes it even easier for you is that Doves is working with Elevate trust to support you and as a University what we can say is that the Incubation Hub is open for business,’ said Dr Siwadi.

The challenge was divided into three components, efficient insurance platforms, market penetration schemes and corporate social responsibility programmes. The students were given time to work on these assignments after which they delivered presentations before a panel of judges that included officials from Doves and MSU members of staff among them, Patron of the Innovators Hub Club Dr Michael Bhebhe, Chairperson of the Department of Chemical Technology Dr Gift Mehlana as well as Mr Talkmore Sibanda and Mr Marvellous Nyongoro both from University’s Incubation Hub. The criteria for adjudication focused on team diversity, research, innovation as well as the actual presentation.

Speaking during the prize-giving ceremony, Doves Marketing Manager Mrs Juliana Maisvoreva said the students performed well as they managed to come up with new and fresh ideas within a limited time.

‘Some of you came up with very interesting ideas which are worth noting … We as Doves want new ideas so that we can use them to develop the product and further penetrate the market. On the whole, this was quite good though of course not all of us can be winners,’ she said.

Team Stars walked away with $500 for excelling in the first category which required students to come up with efficient insurance platforms. The Falcons excelled in the market penetration category while the Lions took the lead in the corporate social responsibility category. Innovations from the three winning teams stand a chance to be incubated in the Midlands State University Incubation Hub.

Innovators hub clubs have been sprouting in tertiary institutions through Elevate Trust initiatives with Midlands State University, Harare Institute of Technology and the National University of Science and Technology, having recently launched their clubs. The MSU Chapter is sponsored by Doves for the year 2018.

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