Durban - Eight months after the Innovation Co-Lab was destroyed during the unrest in the province, Innovate Durban reopened the project to the community, providing innovation-related tools, information and resources.
Opened in 2019 at the Umkhumbane Entrepreneurial Support Centre, in Cato Manor, the lab is designed to empower people to become more innovative in problem-solving, create opportunities for new businesses, create jobs, and tackle social issues in their community.
It also offers an annual Innovation Festival giving thought leaders, businesses, entrepreneurs, academia, designers, government, and all innovation stakeholders an opportunity to explore the latest trends in innovation from both a global and local perspective.
The Innovation Festival, which targets up to 300 people, is aimed at being a premier gathering charting the way for the fourth industrial revolution.
The programme includes keynote speakers, industry experts, panel debates, demonstrations, robotic and gaming workshops, as well as innovation across sectors from grassroots social innovation to ground-breaking firsts.
Innovate Durban also collaborates with a number of innovation stakeholders to partner on special events as well as speakers and panellists on innovation subject matters.
Innovate Durban also announced that US consul-general Anne Linnee would launch the Innovate Durban American Space in the Innovation Co-Lab, which will make American content and resources accessible to the local community.
Ntando Ndimande, founder and CEO of Sky-High Innovations said the lab has been fundamental in the development of his business, as it provideed working space whenever he had board meetings.
“As a starter, you necessarily do not have the space to work in, but the lab has been fundamental in providing that for us, and also just providing us with the necessary tools to make sure that there aren’t any loopholes in our business, and making sure that any ideas that we have can be well implemented,” said Ndimande.
US consulate public affairs officer Jaclyn Cole, says they are more than excited to have partnered with Innovate Durban for the reopening of the Co-Lab and the launch of their new American space.
“Our partnership with Innovate Durban is focused on how we could do more to support innovators, young people that are interested technology and innovation.
“We are really excited that Innovate Durban has been able to reopen the doors.
“We as the US Consulate we have donated more than R300 000 towards the reopening as well as our new American Space,” said Cole.
The Co-Lab will host their first programme on May 25, which will focus on intellectual property rights, helping young creatives and entrepreneurs protect whatever that they create so that they can make a profit that supports them and their families.
The Independent on Saturday