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Samsung and UWC Take Digital Social Innovation to Next Level

January 2020 is the launching pad for a new phase of the pioneering Future-Innovation Lab.

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(Published - 13 November 2019)

JOHANNESBURG, South Africa, 13 November 2019 – Following the launch of its R280-million Equity Equivalent Investment Programme (EEIP) in May this year, Samsung South Africa has announced the next phase of its Research and Development (R&D) Academy Project in conjunction with the University of the Western Cape (UWC). The EEIP R&D Academy, through its Future-Innovation Lab, aims to provide an opportunity to deserving previously disadvantaged youth (18-35), to gain skills in software development and digital social innovation.

EEIP is a Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) initiative where multinational companies are invited to participate and contribute positively towards B-BBEE in South Africa. Samsung’s EEIP initiative is projected to have a measurable impact on job creation and a contribution of nearly R1-billion to the South African economy at large. And now, the EEIP R&D Academy, in partnership with UWC and Microsoft, is set to build on its launch success.

The next phase of this R&D Academy project is about to launch in January 2020, with a newly designed Future-Innovation Lab training course focused on building digital innovation skills of unemployed South African youth. This course will enable our youth to become social innovators and make a difference in communities. Unemployed matriculants and graduates with a strong interest in digital technology and innovation, and who are prepared to work hard, can benefit from this full-time programme. Mathematics and some software development experience would be beneficial but is not compulsory.

“There are many challenges facing the nation’s youth. However, the launch and continuous strengthening of the R&D Academy affirms our commitment to growing South Africa through education.  The Future-Innovation Lab is seamlessly aligned with Samsung’s global mission: ‘Enabling People’, which is aimed at aiding people, discovering and developing their full potential. We are dedicated the necessary resources and time to make this happen,” says Hlubi Shivanda, Director: Business Innovation Group and Corporate Affairs at Samsung South Africa.

Recruitment Drive Now Open

Recruitment for the Digital Social Innovation for Impact (DSI) course has commenced. This course forms an integral part of the Future-Innovation Programme. This 3-month full time course will partner 40 non-technical innovators with a group of 40 students currently finishing up their 3-month Future-Innovation Lab course in Multi-Platform Software Development. For the DSI course, we are also recruiting non-technical young people with a real passion for making a difference to our country by solving societal problems.

The DSI course will culminate in the Future-Innovation Challenge, a competition where participants will work in multi-disciplinary groups to design relevant and exciting solutions to present to a panel of industry and government experts. Exciting prizes will be on offer for the best projects.

 The 6-month Future-Innovation Lab programme will focus on:

  • The development of software development skills and portfolios that can open doors to employment or further training;
  • The development of transferable skills and experience in digital social innovation, and
  • The fostering of pathways into industry networks.

In addition to the six-month development experience, Samsung and UWC partnered with the Microsoft AppFactory to deliver an advanced nine-month software development programme to address the gap of high-demand software skills. The target group for this programme is more experienced software developers who lack practical or work experience. The programme aims to facilitate hands-on, real-world experience through creativity and fun in a learning and working environment.

Professor Josè Frantz - University of the Western Cape Deputy Vice-Chancellor: Research and Innovation - says, “The University of the Western Cape, as an engaged university, aims to make research count for the communities it serves. We value the importance of this initiative which will empower and prepare students for the Fourth Industrial Revolution.”

The Future-Innovation Lab’s Digital Social Innovation for Impact course (commencing on the 20th of January 2020) is open to 40 students, who will be supported with stipends. Interested youth are invited to submit applications by the 22nd of November 2019. To apply click on this link: http://bit.ly/FutureInnovation-applyDSI

For more information, please visit the project website at: https://www.wcapecolab.org/future-innovation-lab

For any questions please email Dominique Goch at colab@uwc.ac.za.​​

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