HDIF and the Tanzania Commission for Science and Technology (COSTECH) work together to realize a shared goal: to foster innovation and the effective use of technology for human development in Tanzania. This working partnership aims to help foster a stronger innovation ecosystem, a key part of which is supporting innovation spaces such as business incubators, hubs, labs, and co-working spaces. Here, we use the word ‘hub’ to encompass all the different models: business incubators, co-working spaces, living labs, maker spaces, and other innovation spaces. Hubs are key actors in the evolving innovation ecosystem.
COSTECH hosts within its premises one of Tanzania’s major hubs – Buni Hub – which it established with financial and technical support from Finland in 2011. COSTECH’s vision is to transform Buni into a model ‘Hub of Hubs’, creating a central node that can offer support to other hubs, labs, and innovation spaces nationally. To aid COSTECH in achieving this vision, HDIF undertook a study of innovation spaces in Tanzania to gain a better understanding of their ambitions, the challenges they face, and to identify their support needs. This study was limited to organisations physically located in Tanzania, with face-to-face activities driving innovation in some way. HDIF collected data from 23 hubs through this study.