Vodacom launches ICT innovation unit

11 August 2009

South African mobile group Vodacom has established a local innovation unit to identify and nurture ICT innovations from inception to commercialisation, as part of its strategy to drive innovation in African information and communication technology and services.

The Vodacom Emerging Market Collaboration and Innovation (VEMCI) unit will act as an enabler for individuals, new start-ups and small businesses with innovative communication ideas and concepts, which could take years to reach sufficient economies of scale to achieve market adoption and become sustainable businesses.

Collaborative initiative

The collaborative initiative will offer selected entrepreneurs and small businesses access to financial, business, logistical as well as technical support and expertise to successfully take a specific idea or concept to market by following a structured business and product development life-cycle methodology.

“Initiatives such as VEMCI, to nurture and support innovative ideas and concepts that can contribute to new communications services and applications that enrich the lives of people in South Africa, are essential,” Vodacom’s Romeo Kumalo said in a statement this week.

Betavine platform

Vodacom will also introduce Vodafone’s open mobile applications development platform Betavine to the South African mobile development community.

It is an online open development platform and community which supports mobile application developers in stimulating ideas, building, testing and launching new applications for mobile and internet communications and services, Khumalo said.

“Betavine is one of the ways we encourage innovation in the areas of wireless and Internet communication.”

SAinfo reporter

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