READ THE NEWSLETTER 2/2012 here!

READ THE NEWSLETTER 1/2012 here!

InnoUEM project is a major collaboration iniative between the Universidade Eduardo Mondlane and VTT, aiming to increase Mozambican innovation management capacities. Building enhanced capacity to plan, manage, and conceptualize the role of science, technology and innovation in society and economy will make clear difference in the short and long term in the capacity of Mozambique to acquire and implement technology. Moreover, it can be expected that increasing STI-management capacity will lead to well articulated new developments within the development cooperation, as well as within the Mozambican society.

InnoUEM is pending final funding but a preliminary planning phase has been implemented in summer 2010. If to be launched, the project will be funded through the Institutional Cooperation Instrument of the Finnish Ministry for Foreign Affairs, and it will run approximately two years.

ROLE OF INNOVATION MANAGEMENT IN MOZAMBIQUE

The contribution of science, technology and innovation (STI) for development is gaining momentum, and it is an important driver for the development of the country. In Mozambique the development of Science, Technology and Innovation Strategy (MOSTIS) is to create an enabling framework that enables science, technology and innovation (STI) to be harnessed, thereby enhancing their contribution to poverty reduction, to economic growth and to the social wellbeing of Mozambicans. Another initiative on STI development in Mozambique is recently launched STIFIMO programme, a development cooperation project between Finland and Mozambique. In both of these initiatives the STI capacity building and awareness raising, i.e. creating a culture for innovation, are central objectives that establish the context for this project. The overall objective of these initiatives is to enhance the capacity of Mozambicans and Mozambique society to mobilize and apply modern science, technology and innovations for sustainable economic and social development by providing assistance to raise awareness of ST and competencies to manage effective STI-projects.

Institutions of knowledge are foundational for self-sustained development, as well as social and economic welfare. Universities, such as University of Eduardo Mondlane as being the well established and prestige education provider, are able to contribute to the STI awareness raising and creation of innovation culture among not only university staff and students but to disseminate this approach to wider in Mozambican society. In addition of building capabilities to research science and technology and create innovations, it is necessary to educate and increase awareness of students, academic community, entrepreneurs and government officials about the methods and approaches to plan, manage and implement science, technology and innovations so that their contribution to development can have sustainable and lasting effect.

Together, VTT and UEM, can contribute in building an encouraging environment for innovation in Mozambique by educating and training professionals involved in the innovation system of the country – whether currently involved in STI or prospective experts. VTT-ONIS has a long expertise in STI and innovation system as well as in innovation and technology management research and consultation. This expertise includes Finnish and European level but increasingly also African context, where STI for development is currently on the agenda. Whereas the UEM currently takes part in the innovation strategy work in Mozambique, and is a fundamental partner in the implementation of the Mozambique Science, Technology and Innovation Strategy (MOSTIS), under implementation from 2010 onwards. Furthermore, it will actively participate in the Regional Programme of Innovation for Development, which includes several countries in the Southern Africa. In this project VTT can provide such an expertise and practical experience in STI that UEM needs in the future to sustain the objectives set in this project.

Given that the UEM is one of the central institutions engaged in capacity building in Mozambican innovation system, the specific objectives of this project can be formulated as the following; to build and develop capacity to manage innovation among UEM staff and students; to develop innovation management and STI curriculum programme together with UEM to be implemented in the future; and to improve the electronic and distance learning facilities at UEM to teach STI courses. 

One of the great global challenges, also captured in the United Nations Millennium Development Goals, is to prevent further widening of the gap between rich and poor countries. This provides another central background and justification of the proposed project, as STI all too often appears to widen this gap. This project takes explicit aim to generate a framework for bridging scientific and technological capabilities between Finland and Mozambique, and in particular to leverage conceptual, capacity, and practical development that lends itself to address highly complex problems of underdevelopment and poverty, both at societal and individual levels.

PROJECT ORGANIZATION AND PARTNERS

The project is implemented jointly by VTT and Universidade Eduardo Mondlane. Project manager is Ms. Nina Rilla and at the UEM Professor Daniel Baloi is leading the project.

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