THE Economic Development and Planning Committee (ECOD) approved a three-year Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) for Innovate Durban (ID) at a recent committee meeting. This follows a successful site visit to the ID uMkhubane Innovation CoLab in Cato Manor by the Committee. ID is committed to fostering a culture of innovation and entrepreneurship in Durban and contributing to the City’s economic growth and job creation. They endeavour to improve capacity through the introduction of new technologies.
This includes training on robotics, drone pilot and mechanics training, digital skills through digital literacy and coding and app development as well as design thinking workshops and sprints. The MOA is to support ID’s core operational and programme funding for the next three financial years of R7.4 million per financial year ending in 2025/26.
ECOD councillors were impressed during their recent visit and the CoLab’s impressive track record of successful programmes. By supporting ID’s core operations and programme funding, the MOA aims to create jobs and boost economic development over the next three years. The organisation started as an innovation programme in the Municipality in 2013 and was subsequently established as a separate non-profit entity in 2016. Its main programmmes include the Start-Up Support Programme, a 12-month accelerated mentorship programme providing innovators with business and technical skills to help take their ideas from concept to commercialisation. There is also the Youth Innovation Challenge for emerging innovators.