A team of Bindura University of Science Education scientists from the Faculty of Science and Engineering were recently awarded the Microsoft AZURE research grant worthy thirty thousand United States dollars (USD30 000.00). The grant is meant to support cloud computing for their project titled ‘Artificial Intelligence for Water Hole Cyanide Detection in Game Parks.’
The grant is expected to make a tremendous impact towards the innovation of an early warning AI System for the prevention of cyanide poisoning in national and private animal sanctuaries, hence contribute novel intelligent solutions for the conservation of nature.
The grant allows the team to access an endless list of Microsoft’s cloud services for efficient data handling and processing towards the development of their AI based system. The products include Virtual Machines, App Services, Storage Accounts, SQL databases and, Azure Cosmos DB, among other applications. Additionally, through the grant, the team gets access to expert advice from scientists at Microsoft.
The grant is testimony of the power of interdisciplinary teamwork in research – a brainchild of the Innovation and Business Incubation facet of the Faculty of Science and Engineering.
The team draws expertise from a Biologist, Dr. Walter Chingwaru (who is also the team leader); Electronic Engineers, Mr. Zvirevo Chisadza and Mr. Silva Chiminya; Computer Scientists, Mr. Wellington Mapenduka; Mr. Willie Matombo and Mr. Munashe Taredzerwa and, Geographic Information Systems experts.
Besides the Microsoft AZURE grant, the university also received another grant this year from the European and Developing Countries Clinical Trials Partnerships (EDCTP) worthy 100k Euro. The grant was for Excellence in Research Ethics and, was awarded to Dr Miidzo Mavesera, a Research Fellow in the Research and Postgraduate Centre; Professor Norman Rudhumbu, the Quality Assurance Director and Dr Blessing Masamha, a lecturer in the Faculty of Agriculture and Environmental Science.
These research grants are testimony of the university’s desire to maintain a vibrant research culture.
The Vice Chancellor, Professor Eddie Mwenje congratulates the research teams for winning these prestigious research grants. He said the grant application process is not a walk in the park, it requires great effort, hard work and sacrifice to sail through.