The visit opened doors for the possibility of a SADC student exchange programme where Namibian and South African students will collaborate on lean innovative product development projects in cross-cutting disciplines such as Fashion Technology and Information and Communication Technology (ICT).
The DUT delegation had expressed interest in visiting Namibia after representatives from FABlab gave presentations at the South African Technology Network (SATN) Conference, which took place in South Africa last year. “They were really inspired with the work we do and wanted to see it for themselves,” said Kirstin Wiedow, the Director of FABlab. The SATN Conference has been held for the past nine years and it brings together innovators who are set on bridging the technological divide at a grassroots level across the globe.
Wiedow further applauded the like-mindedness of the two institutions. “The increased probability for innovation lies in the merging of very different skillsets and breaking down barriers between polar opposite industries and fields of study. There is an opportunity to truly boost innovativeness within these student groups and the aim herein is really to build a new arena for student entrepreneurial ventures to flourish,” Wiedow said.
The final outcome of the proposed exchange will culminate into cutting-edge tangible student products which will be showcased at a festival known as the DUT-FAD Digifest scheduled to take place this year, as well as the International Symposium on Electronic Art (ISEA) next year. Both events are aimed at promoting and showcasing students’ artistic work and talent. It will serve as a platform for promotion of artistic work to the general public, especially scholars who are interested in the arts and thus develop a better understanding of the industry.