The Minister of Science Technology and Innovation (STI) Dr. Monica Musenero has met over 20 Ugandan Informal Sector Mobility Techpreneurs and mentored them on the journey from proof of concept to the commercialization of their innovations.
The STI Minister noted that many of the innovations by Ugandans are still at the level of ideation to proof of concept and need to be scaled up to become commercial products. “ This means that there is a process and protocols which the innovators must follow to realise their dreams .” This takes time and requires the innovators’ willingness to listen , learn and fulfill all the set procedures to access government support ,” she stressed.
The Minister met the local mobility innovators on Saturday at the Kiira Vehicle Plant (KVP) at the Jinja Industrial and Business park . The meeting was also attended by the Kiira Executive Chairman ,Prof. Sandy Stevens Tickodri-Togboa and the CEO Mr. Paul Issac Musasizi .
Dr. Musenero said that while government has set up the Innovation Fund to support local innovators, they must follow the set procedures and protocols in order to be supported . She said that the STI Secretariat under the President’s Office has set up a one-stop- center where the innovators can go to be helped on how they can scale up their innovations and also get government financial support .
The Minister explained that the first phase of innovation involves ideation , concept formation , proof of concept, testing and technical validation – a process which “may run many circles before getting a desirable output .”
According to Dr. Musenero -the second phase involves product development ,market research and analysis , corporate formation , business case , model and strategy development. This stage of innovation development also caters for licensing and certification, technology transfer, team development and management ; supply chain development, value chain positioning and optimization.
And the third phase involves market expansion , product and process optimization, product diversification and scaling production, investor sounding and supply chain management . Dr. Musenero told the innovators that they should be organized , respectful in their methods of work and be prepared and ready to learn in order to take their innovations to the next level.
The Minister also told the innovators that for those who qualify to access funds through the innovation fund must have all the necessary paperwork and should be in position to account for all the money given to them.
Prof. Tickodri-Togboa while reflecting on the Kiira Motors experience called upon the innovators to be focused and patient as they polish up their innovations . He is that it has taken Kiira Motors Corporation over 14 years to have its innovations and products commercialized.
The Director Product Development at Kiira Motors , Mr. Richard Madanda gave testimony about the Kiira Motors development journey and said it called for the right attitude- to believe in their ideas and willingness- to go the extra mile. “ We were bold and big risk takers and we looked at the big picture instead of our small personal interests,” Madanda stated while urging the mobility innovators never to give up on their ideas until there are developed into commercial products .
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