Smart lab with its focus on empowering learning institutions to create solutions that meet community needs, on 8th August, 2018 managed to conduct a University Leaders Roundtable that brought university leaders from universities such as UDSM, St. Joseph and DIT.
The discussion aimed to come up with ways to collaborate to create effective programs for students, understand challenges facing students in being innovative with their projects and also learn about the most effective ways to engage them so as to produce innovative project solutions.
During the discussion the participants highlighted a number of reasons to why most students projects are not innovative enough and why they never get developed further.
1.Lack of commitment
Commitment was the biggest factor that was mentioned during the discussion. Most students are not committed because of lack of direction of who they want to be in the future. They lack the vision and most times their projects do not align with their future plans.
Furthermore, commitment also becomes and issue since it is hard for students to have like-minded group members when they do their projects. This diminishes their interests even further to create innovative solutions rather they conduct the project just that they can graduate.
2.Fear of criticism
To make matters worse, there is an issue of discouragement while coming up with these projects. This is because there are few success stories that are available from students who managed to continue with the projects they made even after they graduate. Therefore students fear criticism of their solutions from their colleagues and society with the perception of not going to work out.
3.Lack of support
There is lack of enough support from the government and other institutions to the inventions that come from the university graduates. The projects are usually left at universities without any facilitation and the best ones are awarded without any further acceleration.
4.Absence of an innovative mindset
Students lack an innovative mindset and most of them think that the projects they create will never actually turn into real products or solutions. Their main focus then becomes creating these projects so that they can graduate and after get a job. This reduces their seriousness of creating solutions that they can actually turn into profitable businesses.
Most of the solutions created are developed without proper research on the needs of the community and the corporates that they are solving the problem for. The solutions are usually created without doing a detailed research of the needs and requirements that the market has. This is also due to the fact that, there is lack of transparency of the needs of corporates and in turn innovators create solutions blindly.
All that being said, the winners of the most innovative project among 300 others from Tan Tech 2018 exhibitions organized by St. Joseph also participated and got a chance to share their journey and how they created a winning project.They were also officially welcomed to Smart Lab by the Founder and CEO of Smart Codes, Edwin bruno.