Telkom, Wits partner to establish R&D lab focused on industry solutions

16th March 2023

By: Natasha Odendaal

Creamer Media Senior Deputy Editor


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Information and communications technology group Telkom and the University of the Witwatersrand (Wits) have partnered to establish a commercial research and development (R&D) facility dedicated to accelerating synergistic collaboration between industry and academia.

The new Telkom Industry Solutions Lab aims to bring together multi-disciplinary teams from Wits and Telkom Group, besides others, to unlock innovations in telecommunications and develop transformative digital solutions for various industries.

“We are excited to sign the strategic agreement that puts this partnership with Wits into effect. We see the Lab as a platform to translate academic research into commercially viable and socially impactful solutions,” says BCX CEO Jonas Bogoshi, who launched the venture, on behalf of Telkom, with Wits University Vice-Chancellor and Principal Professor Zeblon Vilakazi, on Thursday.

The Lab is the first industry solutions lab to join the newly established Wits Innovation Centre (WIC) where 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,” added Vilakazi, noting that the Lab was a key strategic initiative aimed at supporting innovation within the Telkom Group.

This partnership with Wits aimed to foster an ecosystem where creativity and collaboration flourished, leveraging the combined expertise and resources of the Telkom Group and the university, said Telkom Group innovation and transformation executive Dr Mmaki Jantjies, highlighting Telkom’s longstanding tradition of forging partnerships with South African universities.

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, namely Telkom research and innovation executive Dr Maletsabisa Molapo and WIC senior programme manager Letlotlo Phohole.

Edited by Creamer Media Reporter



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