Thousands converge for Research and Intellectual Expo 2014

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Thousands across Zimbabwe, last week converged for the three day Research and Intellectual Expo (RIE) which saw the national research institutions and all the Higher tertiary institutions come together to showcase their prowess in science and technological development.

The fourth session of this year`s RIE 2014, an initiative of the Ministry of Higher and Tertiary Education, Science and Technology Development expo was successfully run with the SET expo component which also sought to promote science, engineering and technology in the Sadc region.

By Toneo Tonderai Rutsito

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For the first time ever the expo was bringing in RIE expo which had been run successfully by the research council of Zimbabwe (RCZ) in the past three years with the SET expo component which also sought to promote science, engineering and technology in the SADC region.

This year`s expo was being run under the theme “Engagement, Innovation and Diversity for National Transformation and Development.”

While touring the exhibition stands, the minister of Higher and Tertiary Education, Science and Technology Development Dr Olivia Muchena appreciated the tremendous efforts by the research institutions to bring national economic transformation via technological solutions.

Commending one of the University of Zimbabwe students, who had prototyped a flyover system to curb congestion at the coca-cola seke road intersection via a flyover over system, she said these are the typical relevant projects that we need to see being implemented.
[c attid=”16735″ aption id=”attachment_16735″ align=”aligncenter” width=”960″]minister touring stands RIE 2014 minister touring stands RIE 2014[/caption]

The minister also questioned the school of thought, which is currently constructing the roundabout at the airport road and described it as a solution that is no longer relevant to the current traffic problems we face in Zimbabwe.

National science and technological universities like NUST university, Bindura University, Chinhoyi University of Technology and Harare Institute of Technology  (HIT) were amongst other institutions here present showcasing various technological solutions and projects they have been undertaking.

 

All of the national universities and polytechnics were heavily represented at the expo, displaying various projects they have managed to prototype and some already industrialised solutions in their respective regions as higher tertiary institutions play their role to create sustainable solutions to the nation.

Typical prototypes which were being showcased was the ATM machine by the University of Zimbabwe, which has the capacity to actually take up deposits. This machine would add so much convenience to the nation if implemented as queuing in most banks for deposits has just been an inevitable move.

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Kwekwe polytechnic showcased their own in-house e-learning, a system developed by a National Diploma student which seeks to seamlessly connect the students and the lecture in real time for purposes of exam taking, submission, marking and instant chatting. The system was said to be now commercially ready for uptake for any institution.

Another interesting project they showcased was the intelligent robot system, this system learns the traffic trends and filters traffic according to the actual amount of heavy flow, unlike generic timed robots which only increase time for peak hour traffic.

Chinhoyi University of Technology also brought up their soya beans drying machine, which makes it possible for farmers to quickly dry their produce in not more than two days, a natural process which would have actually taken a week or more, hence increasing productivity.

Great Zimbabwe University and Masvingo Polytechnic college also had some various industrial equipments for agriculture and mining sectors they have already designed and ready for the market. The polytechnic college had various industrial and household chemicals which their students are currently manufacturing, adding so much interest to the science development in Zimbabwe.

These are just a tip of the ice bag,  all institutions in Zimbabwe are working on or towards real industrial technological  solutions to add their voice to the ailing industry, what boggles one`s mind is why we still have managed to have high unemployment statistics in such a country with all these initiatives.

There are some  obvious missing pieces of the puzzle which we need to start scouting for as a nation otherwise all these projects and tech expos will become nothing but monumental, irrelevant towards solving our  impasse.   

 

Nicole Madziwa

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