The University of Zululand is making great strides in strengthening the culture of research and innovation with some of the innovations from the University already attracting huge interest. UNIZULU was among organisations that exhibited at the Innovation Bridge Technology Showcase and Matchmaking event, held in Pretoria on 2 and 3 February. Describing it as a great experience UNIZULU Innovation and Intellectual Property Senior Officer NikkiLundall said she was glad that UNIZULU had been part of the premier event. “Our researchers’ participation in this event has played an integral part in our ambition to create a culture of innovation and to strengthening the linkages between the University and Industry”
Head of Hydrology Department Prof Jean Simonis who took his ground-breaking low cost water purification unit to the event said the UNIZULU stall had received much interest from the visitors and had resulted in him receiving a “firm commitment” from a potential partner. “They might assist in paying for the injection mould required to take the product forward,” Prof Simonis said. Organised by the Department of Science and Technology and its partners, the event showcased publicly-funded technology offerings from the country’s universities, science councils and companies supported by the Technology Innovation Agency (TIA).
The aim of the event was to bridge the gap between innovators, industry and funding partners. Activities at the two-day event included technology exhibitions and demonstrations, policy dialogues, plenary discussions, training sessions and one-on-one meeting opportunities where visitors and participants got a chance to interact directly with researchers and technology developers.The University of Zululand delegation was led by Deputy Vice-Chancellor : Research and Innovation Prof Rob Midgley. Exhibitors included Prof Simonis, Prof Neerish Revaprasadu, Rekha Dunpall a PhD student from the Department of Chemistry; Department of Computer Science lecturer Paul Tarwireyi , and Masters student Kudzai Chiponga.Prof Revaprasadu and Dunpall took their Gold-Zinc Telluride Core shell system for drug delivery research project while Tarwireyi and Chiponga showcased the Smart Home Software.Prof Simonis said it was great having Prof Midgley in attendance. “It really showed how UNIZULU rates research. He could answer question related to research issued on the spot. It made a great impression on other institutions”.