AAU Plans to Establish TBI

Addis Ababa University (AAU) announced a plan to establish technology business incubation (TBI) center at a cost of over a million birr. This was publicized in a workshop the University organized on January 16, at the University’s Eshetu Chole Building.

At the moment, 10 projects designed by students and faculty members have been identified for incubation from a total of 49 proposals solicited. The University has given each project 16-20 sqm floor area at the former campus of the School of Pharmacy at Amist Kilo. It has also set an average budget of 800,000 birr for each.

Once these projects translate their ideas into a marketable product, they will graduate and payback to their incubation cost to the University. New batch of incubates will then go through a similar process. According to Mengesha Mamo (PhD), Director of University-Industry Linkage and Technology Transfer at AAU, the University will get 5pct free equity shares in each project turned company.

Once the TBI center runs successfully, the University will move to establish a more complex Science and Technology Park (S&TP) in collaboration with stakeholders.

Before launching the workshop, a team of experts led by Mengesha Mamo (PhD), visited universities in South Korea for benchmarking. A similar tour will be made to other universities for same.

The visit to Korea was useful as the country had profound experience in the issue, Mengesha said. The East Asian tiger has been able to transform its economy into a Knowledge based one through these initiatives. The plan is to replicate the same in Ethiopia.

The mission of a TBI is to facilitate the commercialization of research results as well as the acquisition and use of state-of the-art technologies, which would promote domestic resource exploitation and improve the international competitiveness of national industry.

TBIs and S&TPs host enterprises from establishment to maturity. By this time, they are expected to be fully independent companies.

Records have it, the world’s first university research park started in the early 1950s near Stanford University, USA. This was the seed for the community known today as Silicon Valley.


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