Tuesday, 11 August 2009

Tshumisano holds Annual Forum at CPUT

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The Tshumisano Trust in partnership with CPUT held a two-day Tshumisano Annual Forum and Cross-Learning Workshop Programme at the university’s Bellville Campus earlier this quarter.

Fifteen technology stations and Institutes for Advanced Tooling (IATs), all belonging to the Tshumisano Trust, attended the forum on 15 and 16 June 2009.

The trust was developed by the Department of Science and Technology to strengthen mutual relationships between Universities of Technology and technology-based Small and Medium Enterprises in identified economic sectors of national priority.

The Tshumisano members meet twice annually with all the technology stations and IATs in a forum.

On the first day, the members participated in a cross-learning workshop after all the stations were benchmarked against an international benchmark and were also given feedback.

The German aid organisation, Deutsche Gesellschaft für Technische Zusammenarbeit (GTZ), sponsored the first day, where consultants benchmarked all the technology station.

Part two of the programme involved strategic planning.

The benchmark results were used to highlight areas of deficiency and as a guide for the strategic discussion that followed.

The planning particularly focused on Rapid Appraisal of Local Innovation Systems (RALIS), which is a tool that is used to determine the major factors in local innovation system.

According to Shamil Isaacs who manages CPUT’s technology station, the second part of the programme involved a process of self-evaluation from attendees and later the group identified strengthens and weaknesses a from all the stations that participated.

The problems, such as being able to clearly identify the value chain and industry specific problems were linked with the RALIS.

The workshop was designed to benefit everyone involved and all parties learned from each other.

Each technology station had to present the annual report, the performances and a number of interventions they have completed.

To wrap up the first day, the group hosted a dinner party that was held at the Good Hope Suites, Grand West.

At the function, the technology of stations received various awards, and CPUT’s Clothing and Textile station was awarded the certificate for Best Training Component.

Isaacs said: “We as Technology Stations face the same challenges and that also help us to learn from each other.

“By using this forum as an opportunity to share with each other projects and interventions we all improve our performance.”

The Technology Stations will soon be incorporated into the Technology Innovation Agency (TIA), which will provide grater stability on much more resources as it is an act of parliament.

By Andiswa Dantile

Photo: Tshumisano members attend the organisation's forum on Bellville Campus.

Written by CPUT News

Email: news@cput.ac.za