It is my great honour and privilege to welcome you to this Public Seminar titled “Leveraging on the Innovation Ecosystem - Technology Transfer and Commercialization; the case of new Research Technology and Innovation Institutes.”. A special welcome to our guest speaker Dr Sibongile Gumbi, whose career has spanned the technology innovation value chain starting from idea creation to entrepreneurship. We are honoured to have you here today to share with us on this important topic.
Today’s talk is about how the academia and Research and Development institutions can leverage upon the innovation ecosystem within which they operate for effective and smooth technology transfer for the benefit of all stakeholders. As a premier science and technology research institution we strive to make a positive impact through knowledge generation. One important aspect of that impact is to be measured against our capability to move research and development results from the laboratory into new or improved products and services in the marketplace. Our success in translating research results into practice not only accelerates the beneficial aspects of our research, but also has a major positive impact on Botswana’s economy. This is an important role for BITRI in today’s knowledge-driven economy. We are rightfully proud of our growing leadership at the frontiers of research, but we should also play a leading role in translating that knowledge into use. As a nation we are working towards moving from a mineral based economy to a knowledge-based economy and commercialization of our technologies is one of the pillars upon which we pin our hopes for the future of our country. BITRI will lead frontiers on the innovation ecosystem and value chain of commercialization.
BITRI was established to contribute to the socio- economic needs and global competitiveness of Botswana. In addition to its vision of being “The leading technology solutions provider that transforms lives”, BITRI has adopted a robust philosophy that defines how it goes about executing its mandate for the betterment of Batswana. The philosophy is – “Technology Solutions from You to Us for You. Ladies and gentlemen, at the core of this philosophy are the underlying operative words - co-creation and collaboration. BITRI as a research technology organization operates in innovation eco-system where every party is equally important and must diligently and effectively play its role through co creation and collaboration. BITRI exists to conduct demand-driven research and development.
I would therefore, like to request and encourage, members of the public, Small Medium Enterprises, local companies, organizations and the academia and the industry to collaborate and co-create with BITRI to provide relevant and useful technology solutions to problems they are confronted with. There is no how BITRI can provide relevant, useful and sustainable technology solutions if BITRI and the parties I have just mentioned do not talk to each other and work together.
BITRI has a well-established Department of Research and Partnerships. Within this department we have managed to establish the Technology Transfer Office whose main responsibility is to ensure that BITRI invented technologies are transferred and/or commercialized to reach and benefit end users. The Department of Research and Partnerships is the BITRI contact point to all external stakeholders. I therefore, invite representatives of various stakeholders here present to contact the Department of Research and Partnerships to establish mutually beneficial working relationships with BITRI
Let me welcome you to this BITRI seminar and make way for our Guest Speaker, the esteemed Dr Sibongile Gumbi, to unravel the theme and shed more light on best practices on technology transfer and commercialization by universities and newly established research institutions.
WELCOME REMARKS BY MRS LESEGO THAMAE, BITRI BOARD MEMBER AT THE BITRI PUBLIC SEMINAR ON 4TH JULY 2019 in GABORONE