President Museveni Impressed by IUIU’s Pothole Mapping Robot

H.E. President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni commended the Islamic University in Uganda’s Pothole Mapping Innovation during the World Science Day for Peace and Development Celebrations at Kololo independence grounds on 10th November 2021.
While visiting IUIU exhibition booths, the President was particularly mesmerized by the pothole mapping robot and the Home Monitoring Applications. Mr. Museveni was overwhelmed with joy that IUIU is actually engaging actively in innovative efforts aimed at addressing real-world challenges. 
“Interesting. Is this made locally at IUIU?” The President cheerfully inquired. 
Relatedly, speaking at the event, the President emphasized the country’s scientific community’s need to leverage the development opportunities available in Science, Technology, and Innovation.

Earlier on, the Minister of Science and Technology and her delegation visited the IUIU booth during the National Science Week exhibition, and she was fascinated by the autonomous floor cleaner. 
 “Please, complete that and commercialize it quickly,” the Minister said while pointing at the autonomous floor cleaner prototype. Dr. Musenero promised to visit the University to explore more IUIU- Motion Analysis Research Laboratory (MARL) innovations. 
The IUIU Rector, Prof. Ismail Simbwa Gyagenda, who represented IUIU as a special guest, notified the honorable minister that despite being just two years old, the IUIU – MARL has produced exciting work that has attracted the attention of foreign funders. 
“The MARL Laboratory is only two years old but has already innovated solutions that are attracting foreign funders such as ICESCO and UNESCO,” Prof. Gyagenda reiterated. 
Probed by the Minister on how he wanted the government to assist IUIU, Dr. Umar Yahya, the head of MARL, told the Minister that the commercialization of the prototypes was the desired endpoint. 
“We need government assistance with regards to commercializing innovative products arising out of our research,” Dr. Yahya affirmed.
 He added that the prototyping stage of innovation requires some seed funding. On this same note, he beseeched the government to provide the innovators with cash grants or materials needed to do the prototyping. He emphasized that the 4th Industrial Revolution Innovations are arising out of academic institutions, yet there are currently no local industries to scale them up. 
The innovations team from IUIU – MARL, represented by Dr. Umar Yahya and Mr. Matsiko Innocent, also showcased the wearable walking-guide jacket for the deaf and blind, the home monitoring system integrated with popular messaging applications, the coin sorting and counting machine and the light-bulb recycler, among others.
Meanwhile, the University’s Biological Sciences and Food Science and Nutrition Departments, represented by Mr. Shaban Alemu Okurut, Dean Faculty of Science, also exhibited various products during the National Science Week under the Agro-Security City. 
IUIU’s Food Science and Nutrition products have previously received collosal attention at national events. The notable one is where it produced the overall winner of the Annual National Innovator Contest organized by Start Hub Africa in 2020. Mr. Ibra Namona, a 4th-year student of Food Science and Nutrition, after his idea of “Happy Yorgut,” emerged the overall winner in the highly competitive award.
Other IUIU exhibitors during the Science Week included: Dr. Kasule Abdal, Ms. Rehema Kantono, Mr. Mubajje Muhammad, Mr. Kasagga Usama, Mr. Pembe Fahad, Mr. Mwaka Lucky, Mr. Mugerwa Derrick, Mr. Segawa Abdulkarim, Mr. Muhammad Mansoor, Mr. Walusansa Abdul, and Ms. Atiya Chebet, among others.
MARL is a Research-driven Innovations Laboratory of the Islamic University in Uganda (IUIU) located at its Kampala Campus. MARL became operational in 2019. The Laboratory’s core three goals are - Knowledge and Skills Transfer, Innovation and Technology Transfer, and Research and Development. The Research and Innovation Internship (RII) training program is one of MARL’s knowledge and skills transfer programs. Under the Research and Development activities, MARL has developed 12 innovative solutions up to proof of concept level. The University engages in discussions with potential industry partners (in Uganda and abroad) to commercialize the prototypes.   For more information about MARL, follow the link: https://marlworks.net/