The Best Innovation for Social Impact award was based on the result of a TIA Seed Fund project just completed on the Zenzeleni project: designing a prototype for an easy-to-install solar panel bracket (just one screw driver and one spanner required) and a smart power management system to provide long battery life to community network devices, like the Libre Router, with low profile Lithium Ion batteries. The project was led by postdoc Dr Carlos Rey-Moreno, and backed by Prof. Bill Tucker in the department of Computer Science and the Technology Transfer Office (TTO).
Over a 100 innovations from higher education institutions, science councils, and government-funded companies attended the 2nd Innovation Bridge Showcase and Match Making Event 2017 in Midrand Johannesburg where they displayed the latest technologies from their research and development portfolios.
A key focus of the event organised by the Department of Science and Technology (DST) is to bring together local companies and entrepreneurs needing investment opportunities, to be able to take their products towards commercialisation.
Potential funders and business partners had the opportunity to evaluate a range of new local innovations on show – from new industrial isotope technology, construction polymers, and higher-yield wind turbines, to smart water metering systems and additive manufacturing technology for prosthetics and medical devices.
The day’s activities concluded with an awards ceremony for those who excelled in advancing South Africa’s inclusive economic growth objectives through innovation.
The winners were as follows:
Sponsored by Department of Science and Technology
- Best Innovation: Hlomuka Holdings – Circumcision Device
- Best Prototype: Rhodes University – Field Lab
- Best Exhibitor: Agriculture Research Council
- Innovation most likely to find markets: University of Cape Town – Additive Manufacturing Medical Device
- Best Innovation with Social Impact: Zenzele Community Wifi Network Solution, supported by the University of the Western Cape
Additional Prizes: Trademark search
- Durban University of Technology – Turn Up Speakers
- Sustainability Professionals (Pty) Ltd –Mashesha Hot Stuff Stove