The Vice Chancellor of Makerere University Prof. Barnabas Nawangwe on 30th September announced an shs. 1.5Bn from Research and Innovation Fund to market and commercialize University Research.

Prof. Nawangwe was presiding over the Open Day, Public Lecture, and Alumni Dinner organized by the College of Computing and Information Sciences (CoCIS) on the theme,” The Future of Computing and Information Sciences/services”.

The Vice-chancellor said the university was in its new strategic Plan 2020-2030 which emphasizes research and innovation describing CoCIS as one of the colleges making a major contribution to the university and society at large.

“Innovations coming out of CoCIS are raising the flag of Makerere high. The air quality research is one of the few that has featured in international media such as CNN and being utilized in various capitals of the world”. He noted.

Prof. Nawangwe however, observed that despite the quality research being conducted at Makerere, the university has been losing them in unknown circumstances and attributed the loss to the university’s failure to protect her intellectual property.

“We have now strengthened the Intellectual Property Office and I would like to encourage all innovators to take advantage of that.

We have also signed an MoU with the UNDP which is going to assist us to establish the central innovation hub of the university and ordered the equipment for that hub which is going to be in Yusuf Lule Central Teaching Facility”. He reported.

Nawangwe recognized the existence of a stronger AI hub in CoCIS encouraging the college to link up with the central innovation hub.

He also observed that one of the biggest challenges was the lack of commercialization of the innovations. He said management has worked with the Research and Innovation Fund (RIF) to allocate some funds to help the innovations reach commercialization soon to be launched.

“We are putting aside about 1.5bn shillings for that purpose and I hope that the innovators will take advantage of that.”

He encouraged innovators in the college to take advantage of the funds since it has scalable innovations that can also be commercialized much faster.

The Vice-chancellor also reported that during the   UNNA Conference in San Francisco USA Makerere alumni were all anxious to help and support and encouraged Ugandans to take advantage of business outsourcing.

With improved internet connectivity, Nawangwe implored CoCIS to connect with the companies in need of the services to tap into the enormous benefits that come with it.

He appreciated the college for taking the lead in IT as witnessed in COVID 19 when together with the Institute of Online and Distance Learning Education, the university was able through the support to continue teaching making Makerere one of the few universities in Africa that continued teaching during the pandemic.

CoCIS celebrates novel research and Innovations

The Principal CoCIS Prof. Tonny Oyana reported that the college is involved in a number of research activities. In research, we are very proud of Artificial Intelligence.

Oyana recognized Dr. Joyce Nabende for leading the Artificial Intelligence Lab (AI) and improving the meteorological Data in Uganda, Southern Sudan, and Tanzania.

“This is one of the things we are very proud of and I thank her for the leadership. Among the grants and works that excite students is AI”.

The Principal also hailed Dr. Nsasa for introducing the sensor technology in the monitoring and management of bees and building the prototype smart bee hive in the college lab.

Dr. Julianne Nsasa explaining about the Smart Bee Hive Innovation

“The smart bee hive, and is a collaborative project in Makerere University and I have been working with the entomology unit in CoVAB, the computer engineering department in CEDAT for purposes of helping bee farmers and keepers to keep track of the weight that is what helps them to tell whether it is time to harvest or not, the activities at the door of the bee hive where there is a camera and audio sensor to tell the sound as one of the indicators of the health of the bees,” Dr. Nsasa said.

Dr. Nsansa said bees are very important not just for the honey as they are responsible for pollinating fruits and vegetables yet there is a general decline in the bee population due to many of our human activities.

The other innovation the Principal highlighted was on measuring air quality a project being led by Prof. Engineer Bainomugisha.

Bainomugisha was hailed for attracting one of the biggest grants in the university. I want to thank him personally for making our college great.

“He has done wonderful work and developed a device to measure air quality. The devices are being produced and fabricated here in our college and he has so far deployed 100 of them”, Oyana said.

Assoc. Prof. Engineer Bainomugisha being recorgonized by Prof. Tonny Oyana.

Prof. Bainomugisha appreciated the college leadership and the university Management for the opportunity given to showcase how to take research beyond the university

“This particular Project on Airqo has a large team working on it. One of the things we do is to manufacture technology to measure air quality and this has been featured on many platforms.

Last week I was at the UN General Assembly and it was one of the highlights of the technologies for climate change being produced in Africa.

We have deployed not only in Uganda and the monitors are being used in Dar Senegal, in Doula Cameroon, and soon will be rolling out to Lagos, Nairobi, and other cities.” Dr. Bainomugisha explained.

He added that this is one of the examples of taking research out of the Ivory tower expressing hope that it can also provide a platform for students to see that the knowledge they are getting in class can be applied to build different projects.

Another Innovation of Adaptive Environment Monitoring Network for East Africa (ADEMNEA) was showcased at Mak-Cocis Open day on 30th September

Prof. Oyana Rallies Alumni to support college activities.

The Principal Prof. Tonny Oyana called upon the Alumni to come together and build a stronger college saying the purpose of the event was to primarily engage in a dialogue and conversation.

“This is a celebration of the accomplishments of CoCIS. CoCIS as a college started in 2010 when you dig deeper, the history is related to the institute of Computer Science in Mathematics. So, we celebrate you our alumni, and thank you for coming.

We ask you to join us in the effort of mobilizing other alumni. This is a conversation that must start and continue. We want to build a greater CoCIS by involving your participation. When you know someone who has passed through CoCIS we are asking to tell them that CoCIS is organizing us to help them build for the future.

The theme is a celebration of the college accomplishment, how far the college has come, and taking stock of our journey and being present in the future that we want. We can influence the future we want that’s why we have involved you in this conversation,” Prof. Oyana appealed.

Prof. Oyana thanked the staff and students for the work done to keep the college relevant

Story by:

Jane Anyango

Principal Communication Officer, CoCIS