Director of Research and Post Graduate Support at the Durban University of Technology (DUT), Dr Linda Linganiso has been nominated as an Advisory Board Member of the African Innovation Week (AIW), for the next five years starting from this year, 2020.
AIW is a global movement aiming to energise innovation and entrepreneurship that brings tangible and inclusive development in the African continent.
Dr Linganiso, a scientist, author and inventor is ecstatic after the AIW board chairperson informed her of the outcomes of the nomination on Monday, 16 November 2020.
Speaking about her nomination, Dr Linganiso said it is such a great honour and a responsibility for her as a woman in Science and Innovation and a Research Director at DUT.
“It is fascinating to find out that someone out there is recognising my inputs in the innovation ecosystem, not only in South Africa but in the African continent. African Innovation Week (AIW) is championed by the African Union headquarters, in Addis Ababa in Ethiopia, me being part of this continental drive will surely put DUT on the map and help DUT strengthen strategic partnerships for Research and Innovation. I will also gain an in depth understanding of the continental innovation trends and how the African continent tackles innovation issues,” said Dr Linganiso.
She added that being a member of the AIW Advisory Board will in turn help her to accordingly direct research and innovation at DUT.
Furthermore, Dr Linganiso said the nomination will provide a platform for her to provide “wise counsel” on issues raised by management while providing unbiased insights, ideas from a third point-of-view (not involved in the operation of the business) and impose challenges to the management that could improve the African Innovation Week. She plans to also ensure that the implementation of activities aligns with their vision/strategy for the betterment of the African continent.
Dr Linganiso believes that this opportunity has presented itself through her innovative approach to research within the academic space as well as her contribution towards patent generation in the country, where there are very few women in that space.
Previously she has been part of similar platforms in South Africa such as South African Science Forum, Innovation Bridge, Leaders in Innovation Fellowship, African Women in Innovation and Entrepreneurship Forum (AWIEF), Global CleanTech Innovation Programme (GCIP), South African Innovation Bridge, to name but a few.
Focusing on what she aims to achieve from AIW, Dr Linganiso explained: “As an innovation driven researcher, who would like to contribute to AIW visions, generally, I am keen to understand how the innovation ecosystem works in the African continent and create or add value as per AIW strategy, national and international priorities. I’m keen to have a significant contribution in building the future Leaders of the African continent as the AIW logo states, Building the future Leaders of Africa,” elaborated Dr Linganiso.
She highlighted that the vision of AIW is to create a global platform that gathers innovative African start-ups to come together and share their experiences with Norwegian and international entrepreneurs, get connected with potential investors, executive bodies, and game-changers to pave the path for sustainable, mutual and inclusive development.
Lastly, Dr Linganiso said what fascinated her about AIW is its code of conduct, which clearly states that it does not tolerate discrimination or abuse due to origin, skin colour, gender, sexual orientation, religion or ethnicity. She said their motto is inclusiveness thus they expect everyone participating in AIW to treat one another respectfully and with gentleness. This fascinated her as it aligns with the Stewardship Perspective of DUT’s Envision 2030.
Pictured: DUT’s Research Director, Dr Linda Linganiso.