A real Garage Experience in an Innovation Lab: The second Innovation Garage at RAN
Focused on Innovation as a cornerstone and key transformational element for development, The Innovation Garage guided by the Theme “Catalyzing Engineering Solutions” is well positioned to further help the Innovators refine their ideas. This is accomplished through a partnership with the Innovation Consortium group, a powerful combination of experienced Engineers with Practical experience, human and technology based Networks. The Innovation Garage which is hosted monthly (Every last Friday of the Month) at the Eastern Africa Resilience Innovation Lab (EA RILab) is a great platform for Innovators to further build and get quick fixes of their projects collaboratively with very creative, knowledgeable and brave individuals.
Are you a Telecom Engineer, Mechanical Engineer, Architect, Social Scientist, Public Health Specialist etc? Endeavour to join a group of radical Innovators in our Innovation space to build or fix something. The Makerere University Innovation Lab www.ranlab.org is where some cool ideas and rough prototypes get their first sparks for ignition. Participants will be equipped with knowledge and unique skills including insights, advanced technology, tools, and hands on sessions and skilling, on how to push the reset button that reinvents and re-calibrates an existing product or service portfolio. Like one of RAN’s Core Values, the Innovation Garage embraces and works with multi-disciplinary Teams.
During the Innovation Garage held July 31 2015, the team hosted RootIO – Community Radio andbrainstormed around designing a low cost Radio Tower for the RootIO team bringing down the cost from $3000 to approximately $500 and increasing the length of the tower from 12 to 25 centimeters. The entrance to the Upper Lab Innovation Space was labelled “the Garage is in Progress, watch your steps!” The overall goal is to lower the cost of initial setup of the Community Radio involving having the Buckets to host the Radio Stations and the Tower to $1,500. The Innovators took participants through their project and highlighted additional components that require redesigning or reinventing as guiding Topics for the Brainstorming sessions to suggest possible solutions. Such sessions are very helpful in giving deeper insights to the Innovators on potential solutions for any engineering hurdles they are experiencing while designing and developing their Innovations.
RootIO is one of the Projects under incubation in the RAN Innovation Acceleration Program (RIAP) http://www.ranlab.org/innovations/riap-grantees. It is a technology that combines the power of radio technology and the reach of mobile phone coverage to transmit radio-signals in almost any community as long as there is mobile telephone coverage. One unique aspect of this technology is that the mobile phone handset can quickly become a radio transmitter when attached to a portable hardware set. This implies that a radio station can be set up in any community anywhere, and the same station can be re-deployed to different communities in a very short period of time. The Community Radio is almost nearing completion of the Pilot Phase in Northern Uganda; Read the story here – http://www.ranlab.org/first-community-radio-station-rootio-launched-in-aber-sub-county-oyam-district-uganda
Additional details about this Radio Technology can be accessed at: http://rootio.org/