Telkom and Wits announce partnership to establish R&D Lab focused on industry solutions

17th March 2023


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Telkom and the University of the Witwatersrand today signed a partnership agreement to establish the new Telkom Industry Solutions Lab, a commercial research and development (R&D) facility dedicated to accelerating synergistic collaboration between industry and academia.

Bringing together multi-disciplinary teams from Wits, the Telkom Group, and beyond, this collaborative effort will pave the way for state-of-the-art innovations in telecommunications and the development of transformative digital solutions for various industries.

The new initiative formally came into being at a ceremony today where, on behalf of the Telkom Group, BCX CEO, Mr Jonas Bogoshi and Wits University’s Vice-Chancellor and Principal, Professor Zeblon Vilakazi signed the agreement launching the venture.

“We are excited to sign the strategic agreement that puts this partnership with Wits into effect,” said BCX CEO, Mr Jonas Bogoshi. “We see the Lab as a platform to translate academic research into commercially viable and socially impactful solutions.”

The Lab is the first industry solutions lab to join the newly established Wits Innovation Centre (WIC) where brilliant minds from various disciplines converge to ideate, research, collaborate, and support innovation, from the initial stages to entrepreneurship and commercialisation.

“The WIC is the epicentre of our innovation ecosystem at Wits where we harness a wellspring of diverse expertise and talent to solve complex, real-world problems. Collaboration in innovation is key and we are excited to see the cutting-edge solutions that will emerge from the Telkom Industry Solutions Lab,” said Professor Zeblon Vilakazi, Vice-Chancellor and Principal of Wits University.

The Lab is a key strategic initiative aimed at supporting innovation within the Telkom Group. It is also the latest in Telkom’s longstanding tradition of forging partnerships with South African universities, says Telkom Group Executive for Innovation and Transformation, Dr Mmaki Jantjies. "Globally, many of the most transformative inventions have been developed through innovation partnerships between industry leaders in technology and research-intensive universities," she explains. "Similarly, this partnership with Wits aims to foster an ecosystem where creativity and collaboration will flourish - leveraging the combined expertise and resources of the Telkom Group and the University."

Projects will span industry products and solutions, applied research for specific industries, disruptive innovation driven by local challenges, advanced technology solutions, and industry-led fundamental science and engineering.

The Telkom Industry Solutions Lab will be led by a team of Telkom and Wits research and innovation leaders: Dr Maletsabisa Molapo, Executive for Research and Innovation at Telkom, and Letlotlo Phohole, Senior Programme Manager of the Wits Innovation Centre.


Edited by Creamer Media Reporter




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