Botswana Innovation Hub has revealed that it will next year establish an innovation fund to provide seed and early stage growth funding to qualifying businesses, ideas and concepts.
Speaking at the on-going CORMITEX fair which is being held at Fairgrounds, BIH chief executive officer, Alan Boshwaen said this also comes after they have entered into a strategic partnership with one of the leading global software companies Microsoft Corporation to create the Microsoft Innovation Centre.
“If we may focus on the ICT industry, of which many of the companies represented here are part of, we note that the inherent structure of the industry in Botswana is that it has remained largely focused on reselling packaged products and solutions from elsewhere which have not been sufficiently adapted to local requirements.
“This of course creates a significant opportunity for us to create new innovative businesses in software development and solutions,’’ he said.
He said in driving the innovation agenda, the BIH is committed to technology transfer partnerships and research activities that can impact on sectors important to the national economy including Information Communication Technology, technologies related to improving health and agriculture outcomes, mining and minerals, energy and the environment.
“We are creating a package of products and services relevant to furthering our mandate of technology, transfer and research commercialization.
These include the creating of a dedicated science and technology park under development near the SSKIA that will off unique buildings and real estate with superior ITC connectivity,’’ he said.
Meanwhile, also speaking about the fund, BIH’s Director Cluster Development Budzanani Tacheba said they would encourage co-funding as it would be a challenge to offer 100 percent funding.
He was also not in a position to say the minimum or the maximum amounts they would give for projects.
“Conditions for the funds are yet to be set but what I can tell you is that we would be encouraging partnership amongst those geared to offer innovative solutions,” he said.