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2015 was a watershed year according to Prof Barry Dwolatzky, director of the Joburg Centre for Software Engineering (JCSE). Working tirelessly to ready Braamfontein as the digital hub of Johannesburg, he says that 2016 is time to ‘take the great leap forward’ and move from a planning and development phase to becoming fully operational.

“I predict continued innovation in the ICT sector as the Internet of Things becomes the Internet of Everything. The international trend for technology innovation to result from spontaneous collaboration will continue unabatedly. To this end, innovators need a creative space where they can work together in a multidisciplinary environment to develop their skills, generate ideas with like-minded individuals, and progress on a course of rapid innovation. Tshimologong is ready to be this space,” says Dwolatzky.

Aside from celebrating a decade of achievement and success  building the JCSE, Dwolatzky has focused significant energy on creating the Tshimologong Precinct, an innovative new-age digital technology development and innovation hub.  Undoubtedly one of Wits University’s most significant projects, it is a logical extension of the JCSE’s role and partnership with Joburg City. The project involves the renovation of five buildings, owned by the University, that cover half a city block.

2015 was definitely a year that focused on developing the Precinct and reaching out to industry for not only support, but also collaborative ways to build and grow what will become an important ICT hub in Gauteng.

“There have been some great successes and we end 2015 on a momentous high as we formally hand over an area within Tshimologong to IBM Research Africa.  This new lab will be the most sophisticated in Africa and will focus on advancing big data, cognitive computing, cloud, and mobile technologies to support South Africa’s promising but underperforming economy,’ says Dwolatzky.

He says the location within the Precinct will enable IBM’s new researchers to form part of a ‘living lab’ that will explore the role of advanced digital technologies and big data analytics in urban renewal.

“We are on the cusp of something great as we move from what was a significant planning and developing phase to a truly operational one where the evolution of digital business will remain at the heart of what we do and develop,” concludes Dwolatzky.

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