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Meanwhile in Tanzania: entrepreneurial spirits, productive meetings and constructed wetlands

Last week, our colleague Ragna was at Nelson Mandela African Institution of Science and Technology (NM-AIST) in Tanzania for the Joint Steering Committee Meeting, where the entire team had a look at the IUC programme’s progress on the sustainable management of natural resources to the benefit of the local communities in Northern Tanzania. Ragna was also able to visit some fascinating projects on the ground.

After a word of welcome by Deputy Vice-Chancellor Professor Anthony Mshandete and an introduction by coordinators Luc Brendonck and Karoli Njau, some important issues were discussed, like the use of drones in research and the management and policy of the university’s laboratory. The international office presented itself, PhD students from all five projects showed the results of their research and the project leaders elaborated on their separate projects’ progress.

Our colleague Ragna visited the ‘constructed wetlands’ and the ‘incubation centre’. The constructed wetlands on campus are a practical research area where a water purification technology is tested. The wetlands are used for wastewater treatment of the nearby student dormitory. The wastewater is treated and used to irrigate neighbouring banana fields. The technology had already been introduced to other potential users (e.g. the industry) and will also be one of the technologies that the tech transfer office will try to further implement and commercialise.

The incubation centre project aims to increase technology transfer to society and industry originating from research through enhanced industrial collaboration and creation of spin-offs. The Incubation Centre will provide space and support for start-ups –  students or researchers – entrepreneurs with new business ideas that can be further developed for commercialisation.