Bay innovators to benefit from international consortium

2017-09-06 06:02
< Photographed with the new Stepcraft CNC technology at the Propella Business Incubator from left are, Robert Bosch (Rubber Nano Products, Incubatee at Propella), Anita Palmer (Business Incubator manager, Propella) and Leoné Nowell (acting director, innovation office).Photo:SUPPLIED

< Photographed with the new Stepcraft CNC technology at the Propella Business Incubator from left are, Robert Bosch (Rubber Nano Products, Incubatee at Propella), Anita Palmer (Business Incubator manager, Propella) and Leoné Nowell (acting director, innovation office).Photo:SUPPLIED

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NELSON Mandela Bay innovators will benefit from computer numerical control (CNC) technology funded by an international collaboration project between various South African and European universities.

The two-year knowledge exchange project, which ends in October this year, focused on Entrepreneurship, Modernization and Innovation in South Africa (EMISHA) and was funded by the European Union’s Erasmus+ Programme.

“Our involvement in the EMISHA project has enabled us to better serve our innovation and entrepreneurial ecosystem, in line with global technology transfer best practice, while expanding our network of international peers for future partnerships,” said acting director of Nelson Mandela University’s innovation office, Leoné Nowell.

As an EMISHA project partner, Nelson Mandela University’s innovation office was able to acquire the Stepcraft CNC machine, now housed at Propella Business Incubator due to their advanced manufacturing development focus, to enable innovators and incubatees in the sector to create low volume 3-D prototypes.

“Propella wishes to thank the Nelson Mandela University for providing this facility that will complement our current service offering within the prototype laboratory.

“This four-axis machining centre will now enable us to fine-tune prototypes and produce low volume ‘soft’ modules ideally suited for running preproduction trials,” said Propella’s senior industrial advisor, Grant Minnie.

One of the EMISHA project goals was to enhance effective university-industry relationships with the intention of expediting the commercialisation of technologies and assisting innovators to reach the market sooner.

The consortium delegates attended a workshop hosted at Propella in ­November last year and were impressed by the close working relationship between Nelson Mandela University and Propella Business ­Incubator.

Project coordinator at Sweden’s Uppsala University international office Oddný Sverrisdóttir said they had learnt a great deal about the innovation and technology transfer space from the South African perspective through the EMISHA collaboration.

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