Innovation Readiness Course – A Student Ambassador’s perspective

Green Innovation

This article is courtesy of our SANBio Student Ambassador for Zimbabwe, Joyce Fati Masvaya, who was the first person to complete the course, offered by BioFISA II, on Innovation Readiness.

I am elated to announce to the NEPAD SANBio Network that some time ago I completed the Innovation Readiness Course offered by the Global Commercialization Group through the University of Texas at Austin’s IC² Institute. Thanks to SANBio for introducing me to this course. I managed to complete the course in one week, a record time for me, and it was not a stroll in the park - it took a lot of hard work, commitment and sleepless nights to complete this course so quickly. The gist of the course was the preparation of students and researchers in the field of biosciences to create value for their organizations and ultimately wealth for people like me and the global communities.

The Innovation Readiness Course opened my mind to a world of possibility frontiers. The Innovation Readiness course got me thinking about my immediate future direction after my life at Harare Institute of Technology. It reinforced my earlier resolve to study towards the attainment of an M.Phil. in Bioscience Enterprise at a university such as University of Texas, Harvard University or University of Cambridge (UK).

I can now see clearly in my mind the possibility of working with organizations like the Global Commercialization Group which conducts innovation programs throughout the world to help scientists to bring their ideas into the global market, especially those from Southern Africa.

I have no doubt the Innovation Readiness Series will be of great help to scientists in Africa to navigate their way through the process of commercialization and help resolve primary issues of bringing a technology to the market. It is not good enough to come up with bioscience products that are then left lying dormant in laboratories; I believe that products that remain in the laboratories will not change the world but products on the market have potential for significant positive impact. In my view, the course was designed for scientists who do not want their work to remain in labs but would rather see it commercialized.

Imagine Thomas Edison, the inventor of the light bulb if he had kept his bulb in his own lab whilst the world was languishing in darkness. This is where Innovation Readiness course becomes critically important, in learning the basics of commercializing our innovations and help improve the livelihoods of our nations.

I am abundantly aware that I am the current SANBio Student Ambassador for Zimbabwe. This knowledge pushes me to dream of innovations and inventions that will leave a permanent mark on the Zimbabwean biotech landscape by forming an operating company, preferably in conjunction with scientific organizations like SANBio or educational institutions like Harare Institute of Technology, which focuses on innovation and technopreneurship. My personal challenge now is to find or create a platform through which I can make positive contribution to Africa and the world at large. The platform I envisage could come in the form of an industrial or technology park, with the land for this technopark being provided by one of the two or both institutions in the near future.

Pardon me for dreaming big, but this is the kind of inspiration I now have, after completing this course in Innovation Readiness.

Joyce Fati Masvaya

SANBio Student Ambassador for Zimbabwe