Samsung, UCT collaborate on mobile

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Samsung and the University of Cape Town (UCT) have started a multimillion-rand partnership to develop innovative mobile applications.

UCT says this joint venture was created in response to unique African needs so technology can be developed in Africa for Africa.

“The UCT Samsung Mobile Innovation Laboratory - Samsung's first innovation unit in Africa - is a multimillion-rand project that aims to increase mobile innovation and skills development,” says the university.

It adds that the partners in the venture are UCT's Information Systems and Computer Science Departments and the Cape IT incubator Bandwidth Barn.

Commercialising innovation

The lab has been launched for an initial period of three years. “Each year, between 10 and 20 prototype mobile applications will be developed, and the most promising of these will be fast-tracked into the Bandwidth Barn with the view to commercialise the technology, says Bandwidth Barn GM Chris Vermeulen.

He adds that the laboratory will also provide a rich source of material for research.

“The UCT Samsung Mobile Innovation Lab has been established due to the awareness that the African continent, in general, and SA in particular, poses unique challenges, constraints and opportunities in respect of innovative mobile applications,” says Gary Marsden, HOD of Computer Science at UCT.

He adds that there is a need for a creative application development space where innovative ideas responding to these unique opportunities can be explored.

Marsden also says opportunities for innovative African mobile applications have been identified both in the individual user and social development markets.

“This is the first time that a multi-disciplinary laboratory of this nature has been developed and we are committed to exploring how... mobile technology might be used by African students to address technology needs within Africa.”

Staff Writer

ITWeb's journalist

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