October 2018

Botswana Innovation Hub (BIH) hosted Innovation Botswana on the 24 – 25 October 2018 at Botswana Innovation Hub Science and Technology Park, where hundreds of innovators gathered to showcase their products and services. The theme was “Igniting the Innovation Spirit”, to infuse an immediate lasting entrepreneurial spirit.

New Era College (NEC) showcased a unique, powerful and innovative Do It Yourself (DIY) STEM Kit that introduces and exposes students to engineering and coding through fun and practical projects in the fields of Electronics, Electrical, Embedded Systems and Communication including some of the latest and popular technologies in areas such as IoT, Android, Arduino, and Raspberry Pi – catering to learners at primary, secondary, and tertiary school levels. The innovative tool caught a lot of attention at the BIH innovation Day as it is a new and innovative tool used in other parts of the world to enhance learning of STEM in students. 

Innovation Botswana continued to showcase national innovations and present a platform for dialogue on the critical elements that advance innovation and entrepreneurship. NEC joined various organisations to boost BIH’s efforts of building a vibrant innovation ecosystem, promote and support innovative entrepreneurship, forge partnerships to deliver high impact projects and solutions, and house innovative entities in a purpose-built Science and Technology Park.

The day was a festival of inspiration, creation and innovation that brought together more than 250 stakeholders from civil society, business, academia and public sector to celebrate innovation through exhibitions, thought leadership presentations, panel discussions and networking. This year’s theme was “Igniting the Innovation Spirit”, seeking to stimulate new thinking and motivate action.

New Era College student Olekantse Kaisara participated in the Hackathon held on the 24th October where Microsoft provided technical mentorship, access to development, hosting platforms and a judge. Alpha Direct insurance company presented a problem encountered when registering Omang, Driver’s License and Vehicle registration documents, and all the teams were advised to come up with an innovative solution. 

Kaisara represented the NEC  EdgeFX Team, with the intent to create innovative solutions to real world problems. He developed a Zonal OCR system which can scan Botswana Driver’s License, Omang and vehicle registration documents, pick relevant fields in ASCII format, and push the data via API to the core application. He was also tasked with developing the system built with MySQL backend and preferably a PHP front end.

The team that took first place was given a prize of P10, 000.00, and the team that came in second was awarded P2, 000.00.

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