Building upon the Participative Development Model for Education, BC ITversity has, in 2016, established the
Botlhale Village (BV), a community-based innovation ecosystem. Through Botlhale Village, BC ITversity is pioneering the valorisation of the general-purpose character of ICT technologies in different sectors. It is the platform w here education, research and development meet through ICT and embark together on yielding innovative and tangible social impact. The Botlhale Village ecosystem design stands for a systems approach to building a dynamic, diverse interactive network of relationships that breeds sustainable innovation, and recognises the important position and roles of local and public stakeholders in developing innovation capacity and activity locally, regionally and nationally.
Innovation/business ecosystem, a model for sustainable development – Innovation/business ecosystems represent a genuinely new and exciting model in addressing the wicked problem of sustainable development or innovation, i.e. the multifaceted nature of innovation and processes by which knowledge is created and transferred in support of business development which requires the extensive collaboration of all public and private stakeholders (i.e. Quadruple Helix). Each of them expected to be able to fulfil their specific needs with added value. The community, a key differentiator– Key properties of an ecosystem are people, infrastructure, economic assets, enabling environment, but most importantly the social dimension. Connections and communities, represented as networking assets, are central and a key success factor for an ecosystem’s growth and sustainability. In building a diverse community, that nurtures an active collaborative approach and equitably involves multiple stakeholders that co-exist, co-evolve and co-adapt with each other, Botlhale Village creates “relationship capital” that valorises sustained incremental and transformational ICT value co-creation to the benefit of all stakeholders and across different application domains. Within this concept,
Botlhale Village also functions as a ‘learning factory’ environment where students are valued as knowledge creators and exposing students to innovation projects is a crucial aspect of BC ITversity’s offerings.
Although the BV was only formally established in 2016 as a development boutique and is currently rapidly growing into a fully-fledged business/innovation ecosystem, the concept of the BV is already operational for many years through different R&D projects at the interface of BC. The following projects are exemplary of the portfolio of realizations and the expertise that has been built up throughout the years in the domain of ICT: To see the projects, please visit the website.