4. Minimal cross-industry collaborations and networking forums

While there exist deep-tech events and networking opportunities, we found there weren’t as many compared to other sectors’ events. These events and networking forums were also concentrated in a few select countries with the majority of the countries in the continent only having access to virtual ones. We also found that there were very few industry-focused corporate partnerships with relevant startup engagement programmes.

5. Gap between university/training and market

There is a discrepancy between university curricula and the market requirements in terms of the skills and knowledge needed to be successful in the industry. University training often does not provide students with the specific training needed to be successful in the market as programmes are not up to date with the latest market requirements. Academic and research institutions tend to focus on more theoretical aspects of technology, while in the industry, deep-tech is more likely to be applied and focused on development for practical purposes. In the seminars carried out (and referenced above), it was also found that students who had ideas related to space did not have access to the right networks in their various institutions as most of the networks were around theory, which limited them in terms of capacity to build prototypes.

6. Minimal academic documentation.

There are many reasons why academic documentation is important in innovation, especially in the industry. First, it provides a record of the research that has been conducted and can be used to track the overall progress and growth of the industry. Second, it can be used to communicate results to other researchers and stakeholders, which in turn enables prior mistakes by other researchers and entrepreneurs to not be repeated. Third, it can help secure funding and can be used to promote and commercialise new technologies. Documentation provides valuable information that can be used to improve technologies and build credibility for the technology by showing that it’s supported by experts. While there is overall documentation in the sector globally, there isn’t much originating in the continent, which would greatly aid the implementation and localisation of deep-tech in the continent.

7. Talent

Because of the speed at which technology advances, deep-tech startups need specific talent that may not be readily available or may be possessed by only a few individuals. Not all early-stage companies have the time and budget to absorb and sustain a consuming R&D process.



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