with similar synergies. There are several different types of hubs, including incubators, accelerators, innovation hubs, technology centres, makerspaces, and hackathons.

Academic and research institutions have been at the forefront of promoting new technologies and innovations. Globally, a lot of the deep-tech innovations are born out of academic research across universities. These institutions have played a vital role in fostering the development and commercialisation of these technologies, often through targeted incubation and research programmes. This is also somewhat the case for the continent, where some universities have designed programmes, or partnered with hubs to help students foster deep-tech innovations. Aside from partnerships, universities have also set up offices within them that target the commercialisation of Intellectual Property (IP). An example of this is RUFORUM, a consortium of 148 universities across 38 African countries which partnered with other institutions to implement a climate change AI hub initiative for four years starting in 2022. 1 AI Africa Consortium, led by The University of Witwatersrand and composed of several universities across the continent with the goal of promoting AI is another example of this. Academia Nexus (University and Academic Institutions) Most hub programmes take an agnostic approach to support, meaning they offer their services across the board without a special focus on any given technology or industry. These programmes typically run for an average of 3 to 12 months, offering training and capital to the cohorts. While this type of support helps companies gain credibility, traction, and the resources to get off the ground, deep-tech companies could arguably reap more benefits from specialised hubs that are targeted at the industry or to specific technologies and aspects that make up the sector. Although some hubs may offer programmes and host deep-tech communities, there is still a need for more specialised hubs or hub programmes to grow the sector. While sector agnostic hubs may provide more generalised support, specialised hubs may be better positioned to provide expert knowledge and resources catered to deep-tech.

1 https://ruforum.wordpress.com/2022/04/01/3-african-institutions-partner-to-use-artificial-intelligence-to- tackle-climate-change/



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