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In a programme themed: Research, Innovation and Entrepreneurship Online Exhibition which was held online recently, the Research and Postgraduate Support (RPS) Directorate at the Durban University of Technology (DUT) had invited staff and students to participate in a competition to present their research findings dwelling mainly on how the results can be translated to SMMEs or innovation.

The competition required that participants present their research findings via a mini video of not more than five minutes, or through a banner/poster, or a 3-5 slide PowerPoint.

The virtual competition featured participants from the Faculties of Health Sciences, Applied Sciences, Accounting and Informatics, and Engineering and the Built Environment all from the Durban University of Technology.

At the feedback session Programme Director, Mr Themba Zitha welcomed and introduced attendees to the purpose of the session. The RPS Director, Dr Linda Linganiso, encouraged students and staff to imbibe the culture of translating research findings into commercial value while stating that DUT is currently moving towards entrepreneurial-based university.

In her remarks, Dr Linganiso mentioned that “with the support being received from government and institutions, it is important that we produce tangible commercial outputs and innovation in order to catch up with the fast-changing world”.

The winners of the competition were supported with in their endeavour to commercialise their research. Amongst the forms of support were 1st Prize – R20,000 including one year incubation contract; assignment of technology development/business mentor; and entrepreneurship business acceleration. The 2nd Prize was R10,000 alongside a one-year incubation contract as well as assignment of technology development/business mentor. The 3rd Prize was R5000.00 including one year incubation contract.

The winners were as follows:

1st Prize: Mr Ademola Rabiu – Faculty of Engineering and the Built Environment;

2nd Prize: Ms Saffia Hassanally – Faculty of Applied Science;

3rd Prize: Mr Olusegun Ayodeji Olagunju – Faculty of Engineering and the Built Environment and Ms Nokuthula Hloniphani Mavela – Faculty of Health Sciences.

Dr Linganiso said that the initiative of the competition was directly linked to the DUT Strategy ENVISION2030. She recommended that the participants and listeners continue to link their research works to the provisions of ENVISION2030 and make their research relevant to their society and especially, the local communities.

The winners also appreciated the opportunity being given to them and the support being provided by the RPS. They reinforced their commitment to continue to conduct research and produce findings that are glocally relevant and that will solve national and international problems.

Pictured: One of the prize winners, Saffia Hassanally.

Dr Kunle Oparinde/ Vaneshree Govender

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