North-West University's collaborative efforts shine

by Vukosi Mathale

The Malawi University of Business and Applied Sciences (MUBAS) officially opened its University Innovation Pod (UniPod) at its main campus in Blantyre in an exciting event filled with cheers and applause. The inauguration of UniPod marked a big step forward in promoting innovation and entrepreneurship among Malawian students and researchers with the sponsorship of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP). The event was attended by His Excellency Dr Lazarus McCarthy Chakwere, President of Malawi.

The vice-chancellor of MUBAS, Prof Nancy Chitera, and representatives from various institutions, including the resident representative of the UNDP, Fenella Frost, were also present to witness this special occasion.

A highlight of the event was the tour of UniPod, where attendees were shown the facilities and resources available to students and researchers.

The journey leading to the launch of UniPod began with a visit by a Malawian group – aiming to establish Malawi's first technology transfer office at MUBAS – to the NWU's Technology Transfer and Innovation Support (TTIS) office in 2022. This collaboration resulted in the creation of the MUBAS Technology Transfer Office within UniPod.

Dr Janine Chantson, TTIS chief director, attended the UniPod launch and caught up with the Malawian colleagues on the progress made since the collaboration started in 2022. Further opportunities for cooperation and knowledge sharing were also explored.

For the NWU and the TTIS office the launch of UniPod represents more than just a ceremonial event. It signifies a strengthened partnership focused on promoting innovation and driving socio-economic development in Malawi.

Dr Chantson emphasises the importance of collaborations: “The TTIS is pleased to have contributed to the shaping of the processes and frameworks of MUBAS's Technology Transfer Office. This collaboration is not just about working together. It shows a commitment to south-south cooperation and sharing expertise and resources for mutual benefit.” Dr Chantson underscores the significance of such partnerships, highlighting their real impact in fostering local innovation ecosystems. She further emphasises that these collaborative efforts extend beyond mere cooperation, embodying a shared dedication to leveraging international partnerships for sustainable development and innovation.

Looking ahead, the partnership between the NWU and MUBAS serves as a source of inspiration, encouraging similar initiatives and strengthening ties between institutions across borders.

For more information and event highlights, visit:

Visit TTIS


Associate professor Nancy Chitera, MUBAS vice-chancellor;  Prof Ishmael Kosamu, MUBAS deputy vice-chancellor; and Dr Janine Chantson from the NWU TTIS.

Submitted on Tue, 03/19/2024 - 09:10