EI2 Global recently hosted a delegation of about 10 faculty and administrators from the University of South Africa (UNISA). The purpose of the visit was to observe Georgia Tech’s and Atlanta’s innovation ecosystem and learn about entrepreneurship and innovation programs.
The visit is part of an ongoing collaboration with the Georgia Institute of Technology to foster an innovation-focused, university-based economic development ecosystem is South Africa.
That collaboration — launched in April of 2019 — calls for Tech’s assistance and guidance in the creation of an innovation ecosystem to support student entrepreneurship, curricular and extra-curricular programs, and faculty and student venture creation, as well as programs that small business development opportunities and industry engagement in South Africa.
During their nine-day visit, the delegates learned about the components of successful economic development ecosystems and learned about different programs, including the Center for MedTech Excellence, the Advanced Technology Development Center — both sister programs to the Enterprise Innovation Institute’s EI2 Global — and the economic development team in Georgia Tech’s Institute Relations. They also met with representatives of the Georgia Department of Economic Development about its Center of Innovation model, and The University Financing Foundation on its infrastructure development strategy.
While South Africa has the continent’s third-largest economy as ranked by gross domestic product, the country’s unemployment rate is 30 percent — the highest in Africa and one of the highest in the world.
A program of Georgia Tech’s Enterprise Innovation Institute, EI2 Global is charged with fostering economic opportunity around the world through inclusive, sustainable, impactful collaborations with universities, innovators, governments, and nonprofit organizations.
The EI2 Global team offers a comprehensive set of tools to support entrepreneurship and innovation initiatives as important ways to promote local economic growth in communities.