NMB Bank on Thursday evening handed over a dummy cheque worth 20m/- to the University of Dar es Salaam (UDSM) Material Science and Research Project after emerging the winner for the Best Innovator 2022 during the climax of the UDSM Research and Innovation Week 2022 held under the theme ‘Research and Innovation for societal impact in Tanzania’.
The award was handed over by the NMB Bank Market Research and Innovation Manager Prochest Kachenje to the Project’s Principal Investigator Dr Aldo Kitalika and witnessed by the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Education, Science and Technology Prof. Eliamani Sedoyeka .
The innovative project is a potential alternative cement to traditional cement and is made from plant residue and material obtained from mines in the form of various stones and soils with a potential at half price according to the current cement prices.Speaking during the handover of the dummy cheque, Kachenje expressed his bank’s commitment to advancing the frontiers of technological innovation in Tanzania.”NMB is committed to positively impacting lives and building the economy by providing innovative financial products. Over the years, the bank has invested in several initiatives and research geared towards improving financial service delivery while providing platforms for tech enthusiasts to innovate and make massive impact on the society,” he said.
Kachenje said the bank, which is a pioneer of financial solutions in Tanzania has already developed special system known as the NMB Sandbox environment which provides an opportunity for financial solutions innovators especially in the digital sphere to come up with their innovative solution adding that the bank was committed to partnering with successful innovators.
“By investing in research and innovation, we have contributed tremendously to the strides that we are experiencing in the country’s financial landscape and to the growth of the economy at large. We will continue delivering digital products tailored to the Tanzanian market,” he stressed,
Receiving the award, Dr Aldo Kitalika thanked the bank for its timely contribution adding that the funds will be used to scale up and commercialize the project.
“We are so grateful to NMB Bank for the award. The funds have come timely as we have already placed an order for a machine from Turkey worth 47m/-. Our focus is now to scale up the project and make it economically viable. We expect to begin production in July this year,” he said.
Earlier, the Deputy Vice Chancellor – Research Prof. Bernadeta Killian said the entries for this year’s competition were overwhelming adding that the institution set aside 7.4bn/- to facilitate various research projects undertaken by the university.
The Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Education, Science and Technology Prof. Eliamani Sedoyeka during the event underscored the role of research and innovation in any country’s development adding that the Government will continue investing in research to develop the necessary capabilities and come up with our own technology.
“The Government has set aside 5.5bn/- this year to support research and development. As a country, we need to come with our own technology and capitalize on it to make strides,” he added.