A new Research and Development (R&D) laboratory has been opened in Port Elizabeth. The lab whose main aim is to provide a wide arrange of assistance to small businesses is part of the Small Enterprise Development Agency’s (SEDA) Nelson Mandela Bay ICT Incubator (SNII) project. One of the needs the lab aims to address, is assisting small businesses who have commercial ideas that require development but don’t have the expertise to do so themselves and cannot afford to pay for the development of the software.

Prof Jean Greyling, an Associate Professor at the NMMU Department of Computing Sciences and a member of the Board of SNII is one of the people who are involved in the R&D lab. Prof Greyling’s involvement in the lab was influenced by the realization that Postgraduate students in Computing Sciences can contribute largely to the lab.  According to Prof Greyling, students’ involvement in the lab will encourage them to think entrepreneurial, will provide opportunities for more students to enroll for Masters and/or PhD degrees, and will benefit the country’s ICT industry as it is in need of more Masters and PhD graduates. The internships offered by the SNII R&D lab will not only provide financial assistance for students to further; their studies but will also serve as experiential learning where students will be producing robust systems that will actually be used. 

“I would like to see the project successful in different ways such as the development of actual software that will contribute to the success of start-up companies, SNII and SEDA to acknowledge the potential of the lab and expand it in the future and I would like to see SNII become an ICT incubator know for start-ups that produce cutting edge high technology products” said Prof Greyling.