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Company: TM fashions
Product: Fashion design and clothing

Itís in the business of manufacturing and their products are fashion design and clothing, 1 person is employed in the company at t... [more...]

Technology Adaptation & Adoption

The mandate of the Authority is to facilitate Technology adoption and diffusion amongst SMMEs:

  • That is, assist SMMEs through the processes of identifying their business technological needs; selecting and acquiring the appropriate technologies to address the needs; and ensuring that the technologies are fully exploited for the benefits of all SMMEs.
  • Technologies as required by SMMEs will be either to enhance the existing product/services, develop new products/services or improve on their current business processes.
  • Technology will be in the form of either an artifact (machinery, equipment, plant etc) of technological knowledge and skills

Processes to be undertaken to achieve the above mandate:

1.0 Technological Feasibility Study of Business Ideas

  • Technological Feasibility refers to the process of identifying technological needs or gaps in SMMEs proposed business ideas or existing processes and provide the necessary interventions to ensure that the technological needs are met.

Summary of some of the Issues to be addressed:

  • Determine the type and specifications of technology or equipment the business needs to achieve the quantity and quality of product or service required
  • Determination of Technology costs - initial purchase, installation as well as operational costs of using the technology
  • Identification of potential suppliers of the technology, the services and warranties they provide and the time it can take to acquire the technology.
  • Assessment of whether the company currently possesses the necessary technical expertise to fully utilize and exploit the technology.
  • Asses the risks associated with the technology

2.0 Technology transfer - Technology Selection, Acquisition and Exploitation

  • Technology transfer refers to the process by which technological knowledge/skills and/or artifacts (machinery, devices, equipment) are transferred from one company or R&D organizations for application in industry by other companies.
  • Technology transfer can, for example, supply ideas for new products, change processes by which existing products are manufactured to improve product quality and/or cost effectiveness, or supply solutions to a firm's technical problems.
  • Technology can be transferred in the form of acquiring know-how / patents rights / prototype / design, technical documents via either licensing of technology or outright purchase of technology.
  • Since SMMEs could be missing out on opportunities for business growth or improvement afforded by technology due to difficulties in keeping abreast of the latest developments in science, engineering and technology, the TID will act as an intermediary for the technology transfer process between the technology providers and the SMMEs as the users to ensure that the appropriate technologies are selected, acquired and fully utilized in accordance with the specifications.

3.0 Facilitate Access to Funding for Technology Acquisition

LEA has identified lack of access to finance for technology acquisition to establish new technology based businesses and/or expand on existing one as one of the key barriers to technology transfer amongst SMMES in Botswana.

Therefore, LEA is in the process of setting up a Technology Acquisition Fund that will be used to assist SMMEs to acquire highly specialized technology in the form of hardware, skills and knowledge for application in their business processes. The focus will be assisting SMMEs to access funds:

  • To acquire knowledge and expertise through licensing from abroad that will enhance the design and production of new and existing products, services and processes
  • To allow acquisition of patent rights prototypes and designs and facilitate the transfer of technology to local SMMEs, in the development of new products and processes.
  • To facilitate placements of Batswana in foreign technology based Companies and Institutions, thus exposing locals to technology development in technology-intensive multinational/companies.
  • To allow engagement of experts who will advise and assist in the upgrading of technical competency in companies regarding product and process enhancement.
  • To promote acquisition of software and the use of Information Technology in upgrading manufacturing and other production process and the quality of products there from.

4.0 Training and Awareness Programs on Technology & Innovation

  • To raise awareness amongst SMMEs on the need to keep abreast of technological developments for continuous improvement on their processes, products or services
  • TID will to run periodical workshops to raise awareness on the importance of technology and Innovation in businesses
  • Training will be also undertaken on targeted topics such as agricultural technologies, production systems and standards etc.

5.0 Technology Assessment

  • The process of assessing the technological status of a business operation, then matching it with the relevant technological developments to identify any opportunities for application of new/advanced technologies to enhance the business processes.
  • Due to rapid technological developments and the fact that most SMMEs do not have the capability to keep abreast of the developments, LEA through TID has identified the need to periodically carry out Technology assessments of selected SMMEs with a view to recommend acquisition of advanced technologies.

This is a proactive role that will be undertaken by TID and will cover the following areas

  • Product technology audits - To identify the technologies embodied in the product, including the tools used to develop a new product (e.g. technologies used in the design phase)
  • Production process technology audits - To analyze the production process and to identify technologies used and potential improvements areas using advanced technologies.
  • Support technology audits - To analyse those technologies used to perform a certain activity of the enterprise and not embodied in the enterprise's product or production process (typical support technologies are IT tools, software packages, networks).

6.0 Technological advice and Assistance

  • To advice and assist SMMEs on how to take advantage of opportunities arising from new technological developments that can be exploitedtoimprove on their business processes, products and services as a means to ensure growth and to attain competitive advantage

7.0 Business Incubation services

  • A Business Incubator is a facility which provides a variety of services under controlled work environment designed to create an environment favourable to foster the developing, nurturing and accelerating growth of new and emerging businesses/companies. The services include physical space, business development networking, management support and technical services.
  • Currently LEA has engaged a consultancy to design 5 Incubation models that will be established to provide the Incubation services.

8.0 Inculcate a Culture of Innovation amongst SMMEs

  • Innovation which involves the generation and implementation of ideas into new/improved products, services or processes is vital for the success of every organization.
  • It is in recognition of this importance that, LEA through the Technology and Innovation Division (TID) will strive to inculcate a culture of Innovation within the organisation through:
    • Raising awareness amongst SMMEs on the importance on innovation
    • Disseminating information on how to create a culture that values creativity and innovation
    • Assistance in developing systems for generating, capturing and implementing innovative ideas from various stakeholders
    • Advice on the management of the Innovation process

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