Community Engagement workshop .. .

Ms Makaziwe Makamba represented the Department and the Telkom Centre of Excellence at the recently held Community Engagement workshop. This workshop was organized at a faculty level and was aimed at identifying the various CE activities that are undertaken within the Faculty. The operations at the Siyakhula Living Lab (and the supporting ecosystem) were presented to give a highlight of the work that the center has been undertaking since 2005 which has a large CE component and focus.

"Partnerships for grassroots innovation" @ NACI

[Pretoria] Dr Thinyane was invited to give a presentation at the National Advisory Council on Innovation (NACI) on the 3rd of November. The presentation, which was attended by individuals from various NACI sub-committees, was titled "Partnerships for grassroots innovation" and it discussed :

  • the key relationships that are necessary to support grassroots innovation
  • the living lab model as a methodology/tool for multi-stakeholder engagement on innovation
  • the innovation ecosystem that consists of the Telkom Centres of Excellence (a Fort Hare and Rhodes), the Siyakhula Living Lab and ReedHouseSystems

DTI 2011 Technology Awards

The Head of the CoE was nominated and subsequently received an award at the DTI 2011 technology awards held in Polokwane on the 21st of October. The awards ceremony featured 30 other companies, projects and individuals contending for 10 category awards supported by the following DTI’s technology programmes: Support Programme for Industrial Innovation (SPII), Technology and Human Resource for Industry Programme (THRIP), and the Seda Technology Programme (STP).

The Finnish Connection

The Centre of Excellence has established and will soon be formalizing a collaboration with SoberIT - Aalto University in Helsinki Finland. As part of this collaboration, Mr Nobert Jere, a second year doctorate student with the Telkom Centre of Excellence is on his second visit to Aalto University. During the two months visit, Mr Jere is part of a project that looks at innovative information distribution channels both for developed and emerging markets.

Time at ReedHouseSytems . . .

Mr Wandile Sibewu spent some time at  ReedHouseSystems, a software factory based in Grahamstown linked to the operations of the CoE. Mr Sibewu was at RHS as a student developer working on integrating the application that he is developing into the TeleWeaver middleware. This exchange represents a critical link in the innovation value chain where students from the Centre are able to learn and practice the industry-standard software development techniques, while at the same time having the opportunity to integrate their applications into a stable ICTD middleware platform.

Recent research activities...

The Centre of Excellence has undertaken a number of research activities in the last couple of month:

  • [July 2011] The Honours students went on an industry visit to Port Elizabeth. The two day trip started with a visit to Dimension Data, where the students were able to engage both with the management and the technical staff to understand more about the company and the kind of skills that are required within a company such as Dimension Data. The second day the students visited the Coega IDZ where they were hosted for the whole day by the IT department. This involved a number of presentations by the IDZ staff, the tour of the company facilities (offices and data centres) and also an opportunity for the students to experience an hour in the life of an ICT professional at Coega - where students (two per staff member) were able to sit down at the desk with a staff member and go through the daily doings

2011 Graduates...

CoE GraduantsOn Saturday the 14th of May 2011, the graduation ceremony went underway at Fort Hare - Alice campus. This year saw one, and the first, PhD graduate associated with the CoE. Five Masters students also graduated on the day, and more than ten honours students.

The Steering Committee meets

CoE Partners LogosThe meeting of the Telkom Centre of Excellence in ICT for Development Steering Committee took place in East London yesterday. The Industry Partners, THRIP and University representatives met to review the activities and current position of the Centre and also to discuss the future direction of the Centre.

TELEWeaver seminar at UFH

 A picture of the RHS seminarToday Simphiwe and Lindikaya, the developers at ReedHouseSystems, gave a seminar on the TELEWeaver middleware to the students at Fort Hare.

The Finnish Exchange...

The Centre of Excellence has, for the first time, sent a doctorate student, Mr Nobert Jere to Finland for an exchange. Mr Jere is currently in his second year of his doctorate research and he is working on developing an ICT roadmap to guide future ICTD interventions - with a specific focus on eServices platforms and architectures.

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