The University of Dar es Salaam will celebrate its ninth annual Research and Innovation Week for the year 2024 in April and June at unit and university levels, respectively, and the main focus will be research and innovation through university-industry partnerships.

Speaking at a press conference recently, UDSM Acting Deputy Vice Chancellor-Research, Prof. Nelson Boniface said these celebrations would take place on two levels namely at the unit level (colleges, schools, and institutes) from April 17 to 19 and at the university level from June 5 to 7.

“The theme for this ninth celebration is ‘Fostering Research and Innovation through University-Industry Partnerships’. Research and innovation are vital catalysts for social and economic development, and UDSM is committed to supporting researchers and innovators in their quest for solutions to challenges facing Tanzania through high-quality research and practical, innovative solutions”, said Prof. Boniface.

The Acting DVC-Research noted that both the UDSM Charter of 2007 and the Vision 2061 stipulated that the University was responsible for putting in place a five-year plan (renewable) which, among other things, would help researchers and innovators in their research works in search for ways to address challenges facing the society.

“The UDSM takes this opportunity to distinguish itself in research, which is one of its main responsibilities, by showcasing its activities in research, innovation, public service, and knowledge exchange to address various social challenges in the country, particularly in achieving the goals of the Government of the United Republic of Tanzania National Development Vision 2025”, said Prof. Boniface.

Prof. Boniface stressed that UDSM was a comprehensive University hence, as it celebrated its Ninth Research and Innovation Week, it would showcase how it implemented all the priorities set out in the National Development Vision 2025.

The priorities set in the National Development Vision 2025 included health, education, a balanced diet, nutrition and security, water and clean environment, land and settlements, energy, industries and crop processing, business, mining, transport, agriculture, national heritage, tourism, forest, and wildlife.

“These priorities are in line with the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The Elsevier report indicates that UDSM is the leading institution in Tanzania in terms of conducting research on the implementation of SDGs, and related successes on this regard were above the global and national average “, said the Acting DVC-Research.

Partnership between UDSM and the industry

Prof. Boniface insisted that, in a peculiar way, “this year's 2024 celebrations recognize the importance of collaboration through partnerships between UDSM and the industry. The celebrations will provide a significant opportunity for both internal and external stakeholders to see the contribution of these collaborations and to recognise the substantial value of UDSM's research and innovation efforts”

He said that the celebrations would be a special opportunity to disseminate results and showcase innovations and increase awareness among stakeholders and the public about the role of the university in fostering the development of the country and society at large.

“The celebrations will offer a unique opportunity to attract stakeholders and partners interested in commercialising various research and innovations or participating in public services. This will strengthen collaborations and further translate research and innovation into visible societal benefits”, he said.

As these celebrations recognised the importance of UDSM (academic) and industry partnerships, Prof. Boniface said: “Therefore, we plan to put more efforts on collaborating with the water industry and, in this regard the Ministry of Water and Irrigation, in order to obtain results related to SDG 6, which is clean water and sanitation”.

He also said that the morning session of the second day of the University-level celebrations on Thursday, June 6, would be dedicated to strategic partnership dialogue involving stakeholders from the private sector, the public sector, and the media. Later in the afternoon, there will be a symposium involving experts in research and innovation from various institutions discussing topics of collaboration.

“These celebrations will also be used to recognise the outstanding contributions of academics and students of the UDSM in research, innovation, and knowledge exchange”, he said.  

He extended the invitation on behalf of UDSM to all stakeholders in education, the alumni, Government leaders, development partners, members of the diplomatic corps, political leaders, civil society organisations, journalists, and the general public to participate in the Research and Innovation Week and make positive contributions for socio-economic prosperity of Tanzania.