- Name of organization
UMaT Business Incubation Hub
- Email address (or preferred and reliable way of official contact)
- Tell us about your organization
University of Mines and Technology (UMaT) is the only mining university in West Africa, whose vision is to be a Centre of Excellence in Ghana and Africa for producing world-class professionals in the fields of mining, petroleum, technology and related disciplines.
Since 2015 the university has been hosting an annual program dubbed Innovation and Career Fair, which gives the platform for students and staff to come up with innovative solutions to societal and global issues. However, after receiving awards most of the innovations were discontinued or abandoned. The university upon reviewing this assessment setup the Business Incubation Hub to support in further development of innovations and also commercialize innovations and research work.
Since inception the Hub trained and supported over 2000 innovators and entrepreneurs to build prototypes, register for intellectual property, access to market and finance and other business advisory services. The Hub is currently an implementing partner for the implementation of the GrEEn Incubation Program in the Western Region of Ghana, which is being sponsored by the European Union through (SNV) a Netherland Organization. Through this program the Hub has supported 9 entrepreneurs who have received an average total funding of GH¢200,000.00 and are now creating over 200 direct and indirect employment opportunities for the youth within the region.
- Does your organization have representation for a marginalized demographic due to factors such as, but not limited to, race, ability, place of birth, gender, sexual orientation, socioeconomic class situation or other identification? If so, how?
UMaT Business Incubation under the governing policies of the university runs gender mainstreaming activities with a focus on increasing number of females in engineering, also there are other policies that grants special privileges for people from less endowed communities (rural areas) to get access to quality engineering education. The Hub as a unit within the university work with all these diverse groups.
We recently signed an MOU with Inclusive Tech Group (an organization, dedicated to building assistive tools for physically challenged or persons with disability) this is as a result of the increasing number of physically challenged person we have been supporting.
- What is the event about, and what do you want to achieve with it?
#WestSide Innovation Carnival, seeks to plug into the Ghana Digitization Agenda being spearheaded by the office of the Vice President of the Republic to bring innovators across the country especially within the region to exhibit various innovations that have the capacity to improve living standards and business operations within the region having the potential to scale across other mining communities across Africa and the globe.
Western Region of Ghana is basically the heart of the extractive industry in Ghana, and like all other extractive communities in Ghana and other African countries, it is highly under developed. Despite all the Gold, Crude Oil, Bauxite, Manganese etc. Our roads are bad, our source of drinking water is nothing to write home about due to illegal alluvial mining activities, they have all been polluted. The Region has one of the highest unemployed youths across the country.
West-Side Innovation Carnival is a three-day event that will bring the major stakeholders within the region together with innovators from our second cycle and tertiary institutions for a tech exhibition and a two-day hackathon. Participants will get the opportunities to visit various industries and some selected communities to gather data and identify areas where digitization can be used as a tool to transform lives and businesses. After the tour they will be exposed to design thinking methodologies and allowed to form teams to build solutions to the identified challenges.
The goal is to introduce digitization and digital innovative solutions as a sustainable alternative pathway to reviving the economy and living standard within the region. The future of Ghana and Africa no longer lies in the wealth of its natural resources but rather the growing youth population, hence the project seeks to train and inspire these youth refocus their potential to adopting and leveraging on technology to make life better for us all.
- Which of the three levels of funding would you like to apply for? (in round 1 only USD $9910 is avaiable for applications, in further rounds $3000, $6000, or USD $9910 will be available)
- What is the funding for? Describe your budget. List what you are going to spend it on and how.
||Media & Publicity (Advertisement and Branding)=1,200
||Feeding of participants: 50 persons @ $20 x 3=3,000
||Transportation (Fuel for Vehicle) Communities Tour=$450
||Travel Grant. 20 participants @20 x $100=$2,000
||COVID Protocol Logistics/Items|=$150
||Accommodation for 20 participants @$100=$2,000
||Awards (3 Outstanding Teams @$200)=$600
||Awards (3 Judges @ $100)=$300
- How will you share the outcomes of this event. What documentation will result that will this project benefit the community as a whole? (videos? photos? a how-to? innovative hardware designs?)
The innovation carnival will be live streamed, project report, designs and solution presentations will be shared with the community and hosted on the Universities website.
The project will leverage on members of Africa Open Science and Hardware Community members and the Ghana Hubs network and AfriLabs to further develop proposed solutions prototypes and also create market linkages to establish a stable market and scale project outcomes.
The carnival will present a rare opportunity to interact and interview stakeholders from different extractive communities, to provide relevant topics and insights for further investigations and publications.
Hence a white paper on digital innovative solutions for extractive communities and industry in Ghana will be published in the Ghana Mining Journal.
- How would your event address GOSH’s values of diversity and inclusion?
It will be mandatory for each team to have at least one female member and also two individuals from different tertiary institution.
The sites visits will target rural communities which are more vulnerable to effects illegal mining operations and also have very low digital penetration. Building solutions with them in mind will enable them to tap into new markets and plug into the global village which the world has become.
- Are there any conflicts of interest that you wish to declare?