Gaborone, Botswana — Botswana Innovation Hub (BIH) is delighted to announce that it has sponsored 2 students from Botswana International University of Science & Technology (BIUST) to attend a 4-day Makeathon challenge in Las Palmas, Canary Islands, Spain from the 20 to 23 February 2019.
Thabo Malete and Zimele Gwebeu, 5th Year Mechatronics Engineering students, will join more than 300 students from 63 universities of different countries to participate in the Makeathon challenge.
This opportunity for participation came about as a result of collaboration between BIH and Germany’s Mechanical Engineering Industry Association (VDMA) to give local tertiary students studying hardware, electronics, mechanics, mechatronics and software engineering global exposure in a makeathon activity.
A makeathon concept has attracted considerable international interest in recent years. The basic idea is to mix passionate designers, creators and developers from different fields and provide an environment such as innovation labs where they can transform their ideas into functioning prototypes for the chance to bring the product to market.
The theme of the makeathon is focused around Smart Home, Smart Mobility, Green Energy, Autonomous driving, Connected Systems and Smart Farming. The vision is to explore ideas for Smart Green technologies that are setting new standards in time and cost efficiencies in international markets.
BIH CEO Alan Boshwaen said “We are glad to have partnered with VDMA who have vast experience in running makethon activities. We hope to learn and possibly adopt the makeathon concept to our environment as a catalyst for driving the culture of innovation. I challenge our students to explore, exchange skills and come back to further create and inspire change”.
BIH continuously explore university affiliations so that knowledge can be shared, innovation promoted, and research outcomes progressed to viable commercial products.
Late last year, BIH ran a competition inviting all potential tertiary students to apply for participation in the Makeathon. Students from BIUST, University of Botswana and New Era entered the competition. Thabo and Zimele emerged winners based on their candidacy matching the makeathon criteria.
“The quality of the education BIUST students get is apparent in the success of Malete & Gwebeu on this highly rated international competition. BIUST students have been very successful in various international venues and I have all the confidence and faith that they will continue to so to highlight the superior education they have been afforded with,” said Distinguished Professor Dennis Siginer, Deputy Vice Chancellor, Academic Affairs.
“I always liked the idea of smart machines that surpass human intelligence to be used as a tool for augmenting our capabilities and making life easier and more productive.” said Malete. Gwebu attributes his success to BIUST’s ability to equip its students with knowledge and skills to compete globally.