International Studies & Programs

Innovation is Not an Accident

Kurt Richter analyzes the success of the innovations of The Malawi University of Science and Technology (MUST) to fight COVID-19.

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Published: Friday, 12 Jun 2020 Author: Kurt Richter

I want to congratulate The Malawi University of Science and Technology (MUST) on their production of two research-based innovations to fight COVID-19 that recently attracted external investment.  The United Nations agreed to purchase 40 touchless handwashing stations developed by Charles Makamo, a MUST faculty member in engineering. The same week, the Malawi Ministry of Health requested MUST to license them to use the COVID-19 case tracking app that was developed by a group of students.  

Either one of these innovations is a huge success for MUST.  How is it possible that MUST so quickly produced two innovations to fight COVID-19?

The short answer is that it is due to the people at MUST.  The longer answer is that MUST deliberately built a “culture of innovation” and took the risk to invest in building the capacity of their faculty and staff to produce innovation.

Read more on the Department of Agricultural, Food and Resource Economics Food Security Group website >