Press Article — July 14, 2023

CcHUB & GIZ launch a new co-funded program to support African Universities foster student-led innovations

[Friday 8th July, 2023—Lagos, Nigeria] Co-Creation Hub announced a new co-funded initiative to support innovation within Higher Education Institutions in Africa with Make-IT in Africa called the UNI:NNOVATORS Startups-in-Residence Program. Make-IT in Africa is a project implemented by Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH on behalf of the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ).

Through the UNI:NNOVATORS Startups-in-Residence Program, Co-Creation Hub will support 30 student-led innovations in Nigeria, Namibia, and Kenya in an effort to strengthen and accelerate the participation of academic institutions in the emerging innovation ecosystem across Africa. The selected startup teams will participate in a design sprint to improve on their research-based innovations and build prototypes focused on greentech and smart city solutions in specific sectors – Agriculture, Energy, Circular Economy, Water and Healthcare. 18 of these student-led teams who scale through after a pitch demonstration will participate in a knowledge exchange with leading researchers in their fields and get the opportunity to travel to Germany for physical sessions to help to strengthen their prototypes. They will then receive funding and advisory services towards building and deploying their MVPs in the marketplace and in partnership with industry where applicable.

The program will culminate in a two-day summit in Nairobi, Kenya where startups will pitch to an international audience of investors and stakeholders as we try to showcase the critical role that Higher Education Institutions play in the broader innovation ecosystem on the continent. The expectation is that we can support the many research-led innovations that Masters students, PhD students and even undergraduate students are building in our universities to solve some of the most critical and deepest challenges we have on our continent.

Co-Creation Hub will work with 6 Higher Education institutions in the three chosen countries. In Nigeria, we will work with the University of Ibadan and the University of Lagos. In Namibia, we will work with the University of Namibia and Namibia University of Science and Technology. In Kenya, we will work with Riara University and the University of Nairobi.

CcHub remains committed to increasing prosperity across the continent through increased adoption of technology and innovation.

About CcHUB

Co-Creation Hub (CcHUB) is an innovation center dedicated to accelerating the application of social capital and technology for a better society. Our technology hub serves as an Open Living Lab in which user-driven innovation is fully integrated in the co-creative process of new services, products and societal infrastructures. Our team works closely with stakeholders – including social entrepreneurs, technologists, civil society, government and private sector to identify and nurture novel solutions to social challenges in Africa.

Putting human-centered design & co-creation at the heart of everything we do, we support organizations and entrepreneurs to think through the eyes of the end user, connect them with stakeholders in their space, create opportunities for partnerships and iterate on solutions with the aim of being able to solve the problem at scale. Since establishment, CcHUB has supported the development and launch of more than 200 innovative technology startups solving social challenges in Nigeria in areas including budget transparency, physical fitness, education, culture preservation, healthcare delivery and environment. Some social enterprises that we have nurtured through infancy include BudgIT, Wecyclers, LifeBank, Mamalette, Truppr and Stutern, etc.

About Make-IT in Africa

Make-IT in Africa believes in the catalytic power of African innovation and digital technologies for green and inclusive development. In close collaboration with digital visionaries like startups, innovation enablers and political partners, we empower African innovation ecosystems. Together, we aim to strengthen an environment in which the full potential of African digital innovation can unfold.

We strongly believe that African innovation ecosystems cannot realise their full potential without more research on future breakthrough technologies and innovations in Africa led by African higher education institutions. Closing the skills mismatch and knowledge gap between academia and industry is a vital building block for future-ready digital innovation ecosystems.

For further information on CcHub please contact: Jude Adejuwon:

UN Innovators
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