The University of Pretoria has launched TuksNovation, a new high-tech business incubator which will initially support postgraduate students within the different faculties as well as industry to create high-tech business startups and employment opportunities.
“We have ramped up our efforts to implement innovative strategies to leverage and commercialise home-grown technologies in order to create sustainable new enterprises and subsequently job opportunities. We realise that by developing and commercialising research and development projects within academic institutions and by creating new spinoff companies, universities can contribute to job creation and economic development,” says Professor Cheryl de la Rey, vice-chancellor and principal of UP.
TuksNovation was established with the support of the Small Enterprise Development Agency (SEDA), the Department of Small Business Development, and the Department of Trade and Industry. TuksNovation also has access to an extensive network of industry partnerships through its affiliation with the Engineering, Built Environment and Information Technology (EBIT) Faculty and is currently expanding its government and industry partner networks.
The goal is for TuksNovation to act as a catalyst for the development of industrial clusters which positively impact the Tshwane region.
TuksNovation offers world-class technology development and commercial support through the technology and business development life cycles. It provides technology development and entrepreneurship support from prototype to commercialisation growth stages, to ensure that the technology is fully developed and addresses a relevant market need. A virtual incubation programme focuses on technology and techno-entrepreneurship skills, while an acceleration programme focuses on commercialisation and business growth.
UP also prepares all its students for the work place through the development of entrepreneurship skills through courses offered by Enterprises UP, as acquiring a degree does not necessarily guarantee a student a job.