All is set for the second annual National Innovation Initiative (NII) Fair to be held at Mulungushi International Conference Centre in Lusaka.
United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) Communications Specialist, Mercy Khozi, says the two day NII is a joint initiative to map out home grown innovations across Zambian communities.
ZANIS reports that Ms Khozi in a statement says that the fair stating tomorrow is aimed at supporting the most promising initiatives with the highest potential for socioeconomic impact.
“The Ministry of Technology and Science, in partnership with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), National Technology Business Centre (NTBC) and the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA); and in collaboration with the Zambia Information and Communication Technology (ZICTA) and Patents and Companies Registration Agency (PACRA) are hosting the event,” she said.
The Fair targets local innovations, technology-based start-ups and creative innovations that are solving societal challenges including COVID-19 pandemic.
45 innovators shortlisted from the ten provinces of the country have been identified out of a total 3,200 submissions.
Ms Khozi added that the shortlisted innovators were selected through a thorough and elaborate process involving a series of scouting, interrogating and evaluating the innovations by different teams of evaluators.
“ The shortlisted will, during the two-day Fair, be subjected to a competitive process of pitching their innovations before a panel of independent Judges, “ she said.
She further said the participants will also get a chance to show-case their innovations before possible off takers.
The Communication Analyst added that the Judges will be tasked to select Twenty of the most promising and impact driven projects which will be selected to undergo a business acceleration programme designed by the UNDP Accelerator Lab with its partners.
Ms Khozi further disclosed that the top 20 will also stand a chance to be among the 10 winners to receive a cash award of Zambia Kwacha 100,000 to support the scale-up of their innovations.
The Fair will host innovators from the Inaugural National Innovations Initiative and the Waste Management Innovations Call of 2020.
“This team of ingenious youths have been nominated to work with three research institutions as part of the Accelerator Lab’s experimentation programme working to test and iterate innovations with the end result of growing them into socially or commercially viable products for the socioeconomic development of the country,” she said.
She said the innovators were identified for their solutions to climate change and energy challenges.
UNDP partners with people at all levels of society to help build nations that can withstand crises, and drive and sustain the kind of growth that improves the quality of life for everyone.