Regional Technology Commercialisation Centre status beckons for BIH
By John Churu, Gaborone, Botswana
Botswana Innovation Hub Chief Executive Officer Alan Boshwaen has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) which will see BIH become a regional technology commercialisation centre. Boshwaen signed the MoU with the Director of Global Commercialisation Centre (GCC), Professor Munkee Choi and Director of Global IT Technology Program (ITTP), Professor JaeJeung Rho both from the Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST). The MoU outlines the three parties’ technical cooperation through shared mutual assistance and promotion of technical cooperation.
Outlined in the MoU is how Botswana Innovation Hub, KAIST GCC and ITTP (IT Technology Program) will work with the National Technology Transfer Office (TTO) resident at the Botswana Innovation Hub to share mutual assistance and promote technical cooperation.
According Tigele Mokobi, Marketing and Communications Manager at BIH: “The MoU defines technical cooperation as building a cooperative network between Korea and Botswana through the TTO as a regional hub of GCC with the aim of promoting global technology transfer and commercialisation.”
He added that the envisioned technology transfer and commercialization will be underpinned by technology demand surveys that have been conducted through the TTO. “More technology demand surveys have been planned and these will help identify and promote cooperation in Korean or Botswana research, technology and innovation agencies, industries and firms with promising technologies to promote value creation in economies.
The parties further undertake to work towards the development of technology commercialization business models and support business activities for participating companies and agencies to implement and expand partnership opportunities in both Korea and Botswana. They will also jointly conduct conferences, forums, workshops and several other activities that advance knowledge and strengthen human capital relevant to innovation capacity.”
Speaking at the signing ceremony, Professor Munkee Choi who is also Korea’s Former Minister in the Ministry of Science, ICT and Future Planning said “The parties will develop technology commercialisation business models and support business activities for participating companies and agencies to implement and expand partnership opportunities in both Korea and Botswana.”
He explained that the GCC technology commercialisation method entails a three pronged approach with includes Product Localization (PL) where an ICT product or service requires support for the commercialisation process in the domestic or foreign market; Co-Project (CP) which seeks for partners with sufficient technical expertise to collaboration in order to commercialize product or service; and Technology Transfer (TT) which imparts technological and intellectual property to further development of products or services.
Speaking on behalf on Botswana Innovation Hub, Boshwaen said Botswana Innovation Hub is incorporated as a company that is developing and will ultimately operate the country’s first Science and Technology Park, “Networks and collaborations between academia, public and private sectors help build a vibrant national innovation ecosystem and we are happy with this latest endorsement as a regional technology commercialisation centre.”