Botswana Innovation Hub (BIH) said it will bring together leaders, experts, and professionals from science and technology parks in areas of innovation, technology based incubators for the upcoming International Association of Science Parks (IASP) African division conference 2014.
BIH Director Marketing, Registration and ICT Dr Geoffrey Seleka told Sunday Standard that it is an IASP annual divisional conference which all divisional countries are supposed to show interest for and it is then vetted through IASP structures and a qualifying hosting country is then announced. He added that in this case Botswana qualified to host the 2014 Divisional conference and next year could be another African Country. He added that it is scheduled for April 9th -11th.
“IASP is the worldwide network of science parks and areas of innovation. It connects the professionals managing Science Technology and research Parks (STPs) and other areas of innovation and provide services that drive growth and effectiveness to its members,” said Seleka.
He pointed out that members enhance the competitiveness of companies and entrepreneurs of their cities and regions, and contribute to global economic development through innovation, entrepreneurship, and the transfer of knowledge and technology.
Seleka also stated that the conference will feature presentations on the role of Science and Technology Parks (STPs) in fostering research and development. He added that the future direction of STPs in Africa, STPs and economic diversification, innovations which address unique African solutions, sustainable economic development through innovation, and practical indigenous innovation solutions will also be discussed.
“Academia, the public sector and business are to discuss and debate in depth the trends in STPs and AIs across Africa and the world as increasingly complex structures for professional innovation support, helping to achieve local and regional economic development objectives,” he stated.
Seleka pointed out that among science parks that have already shown interest at the conference are, Director General of IASP Luiz Sanz from Spain, Africa Division President of IASP and CEO of South Africa Innovation Hub McLean Sibanda and many more from Nigeria, Abuja Science Park Village, Morocco Techno Park, Tanzania, Namibia, Mozambique as well as Spain.
He said the theme for the 2014 IASP African division conference is “Science and Technology Parks – expanding economic frontiers in Africa” which covers three main sub-themes science parks and economic diversification, Africa and innovation and also Science, Technology and Sustainable Development.
“We are expecting Minister of Infrastructure Science and Technology Johnie Swartz, Luis Sunz IASP Director General and yet to be named international renowned science and technology veteran,” said Seleka.