Through the African Center of Excellence in the Internet of Things (ACEIoT), the University of Rwanda came up with a project called ‘IoT and AI Applied Research Results Commercialization through Incubation Hub’ which attracted a $326,000 grant to implement it.
An Internet of Things (IoT) is described as physical objects with sensors, processing ability, software, and other technologies that connect and exchange data with other devices and systems over the internet or communications means.
While Artificial Intelligence (AI) is referred to as the imitation of human intelligence in machines that are wired to think and behave like humans.
The project is to easily transfer applied research prototypes and information gotten from the IoT lab to the market and commercialization through academia-industry collaboration.
According to the Acting Director of ACEIoT, Prof. Damien Hanyurwimfura, the project is a result of different research that their students did which was not implemented in the community to solve different challenges, hence there was a need for it to connect the students with industry.
He stated that the project is aimed at training 40 undergraduate and masters students which will be carried out in two batches, with 33% of the total being females, 30% will be youth, and 13% will be people with disabilities.
According to him, the cash grant for the project will be used to purchase equipment for the incubation hub and assist the trainees in developing their AI and IoT-based solutions.
The project is fully funded by Research and Innovation Systems for Africa (RISA). It is a program of the UK Foreign, Commonwealth, and Development Office that thrives to strengthen Africa’s research and innovation ecosystem.
Mr. Hanyurwimfura declared that the project will support the development of 24 prototypes and eight solutions will be commercialized, and ready to respond to societal problems, especially in agriculture.
He added that the project will run for a year as they are making plans to submit two other projects to sustain it in the long term before it runs out.