Innovation and Industrial Research Division
Innovation is a crucial aspect in today’s business world due to various factors, particularly the rapid technological advances, the continuously changing business environment and the development of industrial structures and strategies. Innovation is also driven by evolving customer requirements and expectations which result in increased demand for new and improved products. This demand for innovation, instigates enterprises to continuously seek methods to improve their products, processes and services. Namibia needs to develop a comprehensive system of innovation that would bring all key players together, from the knowledge generators and the users. Bringing, the state, academia, and industry together would overcome the innovation chasm thus resulting in the strengthening of the link in the innovation chain, from ‘blue sky’ research to commercialization as well as the removal of bottlenecks which stop ideas from reaching the market. These include lack of finance, fragmented research systems and markets, under-use of public procurement for innovation and slow standard setting.
Our main aim is to create and manage linkages and platforms that promote Industrial Research, Innovation start-ups, Value addition, and Technology Transfer.
National Innovation Challenge for Women (NICW)
The NCRST intends to enhance RSTI contribution toward industrialization in the country by running a National Innovation Challenge for Women in all 14 regions that takes annually over a period of 6 months. The National Innovation Challenge for Women is a capacity building and business acceleration initiative designed to empower female innovators in various business concepts such as; Business Model Canvas, Financial projections, Human Resources, marketing and branding as well as standards and regulations pertaining their businesses. The goal is to have an empowered female population running and spearheading RSTI focused businesses. . Priority is given to products and services with high socio-economic impact targeting businesses in Agri-food, Nutrition, Biosciences, Health, ICT/tech, Waste (upcycling), Cosmetics and Better agriculture services.
BOOST UP Series
BOOST UP is a 3-part series of startup events, in colaboration with the Southern Africa Innovation Support Programme (SAIS 2), and the Connected Hubs member organisations network in the five SADC countries of Botswana, Namibia, South Africa, Tanzania and Zambia.
The BOOST UP series comprises of Set up, Stand Up and Scale Up events which include coaching, pitch competitions, mentorship and incubation of 5 startups representing each country taking part in an international tech startup event.
Innovation Fostering Platform
The purpose of the innovation fostering platform is to nurture the newest technologies and products on the market by translating research outputs into usable everyday life technologies and products. Services such as innovation information provision, advises on intellectual property protection and utilisation as well as business plan development are provided to the general public in conjunction with relevant divisions and institutions.
Currently this platform is operating in the forms of;
- Innovation Quick Cycle
where innovators pitch their ideas and specialised advises provided. This specific programme is run in collaboration with the Business Intellectual Property Authority (BIPA) who offers intellectual property and general business advises. The plan is to pilot this programme in the whole country, as party of our grassroots innovation aspirations.
- Technology Station Programme
The Technology Station programme intends to address the lack of an established linkage, where industry and academia can interact to solve industry problems locally and to help integrate the students into the job industry before and after they graduate and, in that vein, help in achieving inclusive, sustainable and equitable economic growth. Access to the market and market competitiveness are an important driving force behind technological innovations, while technological innovation is the ultimate route to enhance enterprise competitiveness. This programme will act as Technology transfer hubs that prepares local innovations for the market, through deliberate capacity building and technology transfer efforts and thus addressing the goal of building a capable and healthy human resource base. Namibian enterprises need to play an increasingly important role in technology innovation at the enterprise level. To this end, more agreeable conditions need to be provided and better environments needs to be created, hence the creation of Technology Stations targeting different economic sectors, through technology based infrastructure development and enhanced technology transfer model.