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The SEDA Nelson Mandela Bay ICT Incubator (SNII), based in Port Elizabeth, this week announced the launch of a Research and Development Lab centre, located on-site at its Newton Park technology office business park.
According to a press release sent to Ventureburn, the R&D lab offers assistance and support to creatives, entrepreneurs, and small businesses in PE to design and develop apps, software solutions, as well as electronic and mechanical device prototypes. People developing new technologies in the lab will also own the intellectual property and patents on what they develop.
The lab forms part of SNII’s technology infrastructure support service to clients enrolled in the centre’s incubation programme and for small businesses and entrepreneurs in Nelson Mandela Bay.
“This is a giant step forward for sustainable SMME development in the ICT sector in Nelson Mandela Bay,” said Scott Zambonini, Enterprise Development Manager at SNII.
“If you have always dreamed of a new app or had an idea for a technology product or service, the R&D Lab will help to develop a concept into something concrete,” he said.
According to the release, the Lab’s chief advantage is that it allows for the rapid rendering of technology ideas and concepts into concrete solutions with major cost- and time-saving benefits. This, it says, will help SNII incubator clients and technology entrepreneurs to get new products, services and solutions to the market much faster, explained Zambonini.
“The SNII R&D Lab offers access to integrated technologies, specialist resources and development support which will enable tech entrepreneurs and small business to design, visualise and create prototypes.
“Companies with existing technology-based solutions or products will also be able to use the R&D Lab as a facility for upgrading, expanding and evolving products and services,” he said.
The SNII team says it’s appointed a dedicated pool of development experts as the design support backbone of the R&D Lab.
The SNII R&D Lab will apparently allow users of the service and facility to design and develop new technology solutions, develop and own technology intellectual property and patents, and unlock technological innovation.
“The R&D Lab is envisioned as the city’s technology innovation epicentre,” said Zambonini.
“The facility will not only empower private and public sector organisations who require technological innovation to remain at the forefront, but will also help SMME’s, tech start-ups, entrepreneurs and clients enrolled on our incubation programmes to take their ideas to a more concrete phase of development,” he said.
According to Zambonini, the SNII R&D Lab will improve technological innovation in sectors of Nelson Mandela Bay’s regional economy, including automotive, manufacturing agro-processing, renewable energy and green technology and maritime economy sectors.
“However, the R&D Lab is first and foremost a resource for big dreamers and innovators from a small business grassroots level. Raw and rough-diamond business and technology ideas of SMME’s will be brought to life through the support and resources offered by the R&D Lab” he said.
Zambonini said the SNII R&D Lab will also offer the private sector a way to invest, support and show a return in BBBEE enterprise development and skills development spend.
“Through the SNII R&D Lab, corporates and development agencies will be able to allocate financial and non-financial resources to deserving entrepreneurs and high-potential enterprises,” he said.