The Botswana International University of Science and Technology (BIUST) Director of Research & Development Professor Ochieng Aoyi, holds the opinion that a professor shouldn’t request financing from the university. Instead, he believes they should search for ways to raise funds for the university from external sources.
Prof Aoyi has helped BIUST raise millions of BWP for research initiatives since joining the university in 2018. By drawing on his experience from past academic institutions, he has used his expertise to support his colleagues and train young researchers on how to prepare good proposals, which has contributed to the development and success of the University in attracting external grants.
BIUST has a pool of talented and highly qualified academics working as a team in various research groups, through which they have managed to secure highly competitive international grants. Currently there are 20 research groups, some of which have been consolidated to form research units such as chairs and centers. Through these units in the last three years, BIUST has attracted two prestigious research chairs: the UNESCO Chair on Advanced Manufacturing, OR Tambo Research Chair Initiative (ORTAChI) and Mining Centre. Further, the research units form platforms for collaboration with industries and other institutions in the transformation of basic research into products and services.
The research units are also seeking to increase capacity in research, teaching, and outreach, as well as to develop collaboration between BIUST and other African universities, with a particular emphasis on environmental and climate challenges in Africa. While the ORTARChI focuses on climate change adaptation, the UNESCO Chair is committed to encouraging the use of science, technology, and innovation in Botswana for sustainable development. The commercialization of the products and services generated from these units will be realized through BIUST Enterprise Ltd, which is tasked with generating third-stream income for the institution.
The Incubation Center at BIUST offers a variety of services to assist entrepreneurs and innovators in turning their ideas into profitable businesses. The center provides mentorship, resource access, and networking opportunities. Additionally, it offers seminars and workshops to assist business owners in creating their business plans.
The Technology Transfer Directorate at BIUST enables researchers to share their findings, interact with other researchers, and engage with industry partners.
In addition to supporting research programs, he urged the government to aid postgraduate students.