The Minister of Higher and Tertiary Education, Innovation, Science and Technology Development, Hon. Prof dr. Amon Murwira encouraged Bindura University of Science Education to commercialise its products and innovations thus moving to the next level.
While touring the BUSE exhibition stand at the just ended Zimbabwe International Trade Fair (ZITF) in Bulawayo, Prof. dr Murwira was impressed by the concepts and prototypes on exhibition and urged the University to commercialise and implement the innovations for the benefit of the communities.
“I have seen what BUSE is capable of, now the institution has to take it to the next level of implementation and commercialization,” said Professor Murwira.
Products and Innovations
Of particular interest to the minister, as well as other institutions and corporates, were BUSE’s software applications, Smart House and Smart City.
Smart House is a software application which allows centralised control of home appliances automatically and has a finger print control mechanism allowing a single individual or device to be in control. It is set to be connected to the Innovation Hub to demonstrate its functionality.
The app has attracted interest from individuals and big corporations, particularly registered security companies. It has also generated conversations around further collaboration with other international tertiary institutions.
Smart City integrates municipality systems and assists engineers in identifying faults and problems within their service delivery systems. Problems such as water pipe bursts, sewage leakages and electrical faults are detected from a central service center.
It is a real-time system which serves time required to identify and attend to a fault. The application has been embraced by institutions and major corporations such as Bindura Town Council, Zimbabwe Electricity Supply Authority (ZESA) and Zimbabwe National Water Authority (ZINWA) who are keen to explore it as they are the major beneficiaries of the application.
Zimbabwe Posts (ZimPost) described the application as an answered appeal to their problem of failing to identify some households. The interest inspired discussion of a possible partnership between BUSE and ZimPost.
The University also exhibited bio-repair toothpaste and mouthwash manufactured from ethno medicinal herbs designed to cure periodontal disease. The toothpaste and mouthwash does not contain fluoride which may result in fluorosis, a condition which interferes with the development of tooth enamel, if not properly used.
The dental care products are however still undergoing clinical trials and Prof. dr. Murwira advised that they must be registered as traditional herbs so that they can be commercialised quickly and attract investors.
Other products which were on display were detergents, body lotions and hair products such as hair food and shampoo. The hair products are designed to remove dandruff in hair and are manufactured from natural herbs.
The laundry bleach, dish washing liquid and toilet cleaner are manufactured using organic material and are environmentally friendly. The cleaning products are being used at BUSE and this has resulted in cost cutting for the University. BUSE has the capacity to bulk supply other institutions with these environmentally friendly organic products.
BUSE products are in line with the thrust of Education 5.0 which mandates higher education institutions to not only teach, research and engage the community but also be innovative and industrialise.