Exploring the important emerging role of Digital Technology Innovation Hubs

Barry_thumbProfessor Barry Dwolatzky
A new model of innovation and entrepreneurship is driving the rapid growth of digital technology around the world, namely the establishment of Digital Technology Innovation Hubs.

These hubs have been established in most major cities. From London to New York and from Nairobi to Cape Town, start-ups are increasingly being launched in innovation hubs. Many of the most innovative new digital products and services have been launched in technology hubs rather than in a university or a corporate laboratory. It is important therefore, to realise the important and growing role that such hubs are playing and to understand how universities can help foster hubs for accelerated development.

In his talk, Professor Barry Dwolatzky of the University of the Witwatersrand, founder and director of the Joburg Centre for Software Engineering, will discuss the important emerging relationship between universities and successful digital innovation hubs. Work being done at the University of the Witwatersrand to establish such a hub in Braamfontein, Johannesburg’s inner city district, will be described.

Dwolatzky is passionate about South Africa’s information and communications technology sector and believes that Africa’s youth must be given opportunities to develop digital solutions to the continent’s many challenges. This offers a solution to the endemic problem of youth unemployment. In 2013/14 Dwolatzky was named South Africa’s IT Personality of the Year, an honour he shared with Mteto Nyati, then Head of Microsoft South Africa and now CEO of MTN.