Ericsson innovation lab may be opening in Uganda — the first in Africa

Ericsson has been in operation in Africa for about 117 years. Besides the offices it has distributed allover the continent, it doesn’t have a research or innovations hub staged in situ.

Now, at the recent Swedish Ugandan ICT conference: Dorothy Okello, the commnications officer at the College of Engineering, Design Art and Technology at Makerere University invited Ericsson to pitch camp on the campus and open up an innovations lab. She decried continued sidelining by Telecom giants to the university. From the turn of events, Ericsson’s top managers invited her for further talks on how the  idea could be executed. Infact, it’s only Microsoft that set up a student’s and research hub at the College of Computing.

Undeniably, universities are the fountains of innovations and advancements in academia. Private and public companies ought to tap into this potential lest it goes to waste. For example through mentoring, refresher courses, maker faires et al

However, the Ericsson consumer lab located in Sweden is the laboratory from where the giant telecom equipment maker carry experiments and analyse reports, but this time around having the consumers as the focal point.

The difference of the innovations lab from the consumer lab is that it would not only foster students with the much needed practical skills but also tout Ericsson’s brand as a corporate social one.

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Makerere reaps over 9 PALITA Awards 2013

Fmr DVCAA Prof. Lillian Tibatemwa Ekirikubinza (2nd R) receives her award from The Prime Minister Rt. Hon. Amama Mbabazi during the PALITA Award 2013 as H.E. Dr. Boney Katatumba (L) and Gen. Pecos Kutesa witness (R), 18th October 2013, Imperial Royale Hotel, Kampala Uganda

Makerere University has once again reaped big at The Pearl of Africa Lifetime Achievement Award (PALITA AWARD) 2013 organised by the Public Opinions Inc. The nine recipients from Makerere University were rewarded in honour and appreciation of their contribution towards Socio-Economic transformation of Uganda and attainment of the United Nations Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) in Uganda.

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Finalists score big with Orange Community Innovation awards

The 3rd annual Community innovation awards by Orange Uganda held on 8th August rewarded innovative students for the mobile applications they developed for social good under health, agriculture and education categories.

This year’s challenge attracted 72 entries from which 20 made it to the final round. With a mandate to fulfill a corporate social responsibility, Orange Uganda partnered with various organisations such as; Huawei as a technology partner, Vision Group as media partner, College of Engineering, Design, Art and Technology as academic partner and CEOSummit as training and mentoring partner.

The MD Hauwei Uganda Mr. Radoslaw Kedzia thanked the innovative students for their participation as he announced the Huawei Y300 android smartphones that were given to all finalists of the day. Amid cheers he boasted of Huawei’s position as a leading smartphones maker and distributor worldwide only behind Samsung and iPhone.

In the 3rd position was LuundaLite an android app–William Luyinda, artn Katamba and Ibrahim Ssekabembe from Busitema university–developed to assist animal breeders manage their farms easily. The beta version that currently accommodates poultry farmers provides vaccination schedules,diagnosis for various diseases,information about veterinary shops and feed stores and also an interactive platform where farmers share information amongst themselves. They won UGX 2.5 M and 6 months internship at Orange Uganda.

In the 2nd position was MensPreg–developed by Dut Athian and Joyce Nambalirwa from International College of Health sciences–an application that uses predictive formulations in helping ladies track their monthly periods. In hindsight it seeks to mitigate unwanted pregnancies based on ovalution schedules and also predict the time of conception and delivery. They won UGX 5 M and 12 months internship at Orange Uganda.

In the 1st position was AgroMarketDay–developed by Lisa Katusiime and Isaac Omiat from Makerere university–is an android mobile app that helps farmers dealing in agricultural products link easily to buyers thereby cutting out the unnecessary and exploitative middleman. It shows an updated list of different markets in Uganda highlighting the market conditions interms of supply vis-a-vis demand. They won UGX 10 M and 12 months internship at Orange Uganda.

Notably, the winners’ goals were to develop USSD versions of their apps to tap into the majority of the target market who are not smartphone holders.

In his key note address, Uganda’s Prime minister Hon(Rt.) Amama Mbabazi encouraged the finalists to go out to the real world and further innovate solutions to bolster social change and development.

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Project 6 makes strides in diversification and commercialization of sorghum and millet value added products.

Project 6 makes strides in diversification and commercialization of sorghum and millet value added products.

As part of the monitoring and review exercise for Bio-Innovate projects conducted between May and October 2012, the Bio-Innovate Program Management Team (PMT) traveled to Kampala, Uganda on 29-30 October to review implementation progress made by project 6 on ‘use of biosciences for value addition and diversification to enhance commercialization of sorghum and millet products in eastern Africa’. Read more

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