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The Innovation Hub’s Gauteng Innovation Competition winners announced

eGov Connect was named last night at The Innovation Hub as the winner in the mobile category of the Gauteng Innovation Competition. eGov Connect pulls communication between citizens and government, as well as fault reporting and social media into a unified user experience to enable easy interaction with public officials. Smokeless Coal won the green category for its combination of waste coal, clay and water to produce a smokeless energy source that burns for longer than conventional coals.

Front, from left to right: Maria Dhliwayo; Annikie Khumbuza; Rose Rhulani Baloyi; Onica Thandi Matsheke. Back, from left to right: Siphiwe Ngwenya, Acting Group CEO of GGDA; McLean Sibanda, CEO of The Innovation Hub; MEC Nkosiphendule Kolisile; Dr Thele Moema, GGDA Board Member; Zeth Malele, TIHMC chairperson of the Board with Smokeless Coal, green technology winner.

Front, from left to right: Maria Dhliwayo; Annikie Khumbuza; Rose Rhulani Baloyi; Onica Thandi Matsheke. Back, from left to right: Siphiwe Ngwenya, Acting Group CEO of GGDA; McLean Sibanda, CEO of The Innovation Hub; MEC Nkosiphendule Kolisile; Dr Thele Moema, GGDA Board Member; Zeth Malele, TIHMC chairperson of the Board with Smokeless Coal, green technology winner.

The Gauteng Innovation Competition is an annual contest that seeks to foster innovative entrepreneurial ideas to spur growth in the Gauteng economy while contributing to job creation and the reduction of poverty. This year, the competition focused on issues that are critical to municipalities.

The competition is run by The Innovation Hub, Africa’s first accredited science and technology park. It is one of the initiatives of the Gauteng Innovation Strategy approved by the provincial cabinet in February 2012.

The Innovation Hub is a subsidiary of the Gauteng Growth and Development Agency (GGDA), which is an agency of the Gauteng Department of Economic Development (DED).

Vela Tsotsi was named as second prize winner in the mobile category for its USSD-based crime reporting tool, while Gov + Me took third prize for its use of mobile location information to connect citizens with government information specific to their area of residence.

In the green category, SavvyLoo won the second prize for its low-cost, waterless toilet, which is easy-to-assemble and clean, presenting a sustainable alternative to prevent water pollution from water-borne sanitation and pit latrines. Handy Power Chargers was named as third prize winner in this category for its kinetic chargers used on laptops, desktops, cellphones, lamps and radios where there is no grid electricity supply.

Over 100 submissions were received by the time entries for the competition closed on 14 November 2012. This was followed by an intensive adjudication process to identify the top 10 submissions in each category. The stringent competition called for innovations that address specific focus areas identified by sector and municipality representatives, and required innovators to complete a draft business plan indicating their expected market and likely investment requirements.

McLean Sibanda, CEO of The Innovation Hub; Younaid Waja, TIHMC Board Member; András Findt, eGov Connect winner in mobile technology; Honorable Nkosiphendule Kolisile, MEC for Gauteng Department of Economic Development; Joshua Leibstein, eGov winner in mobile technology; Dr Thele Moema, GGDA Board Member; Zeth Malele, TIHMC chairperson of the Board.

McLean Sibanda, CEO of The Innovation Hub; Younaid Waja, TIHMC Board Member; András Findt, eGov Connect winner in mobile technology; Honorable Nkosiphendule Kolisile, MEC for Gauteng Department of Economic Development; Joshua Leibstein, eGov winner in mobile technology; Dr Thele Moema, GGDA Board Member; Zeth Malele, TIHMC chairperson of the Board.

There were specific focus areas within the two themes. The Green Technology theme prioritised entries related to four main areas, including Solar Energy, Waste to Energy, Energy Efficiency and Water Management. The Mobile Technology theme prioritised mobile applications that can improve Citizen Safety, Citizen Participation, and Transport and Traffic Management.

MEC for the Department of Economic Development in Gauteng, Nkosiphendule Kolisile, said: "The Gauteng Innovation Competition is an important mechanism for building a culture of innovation within the province. This is critical for new enterprise development and creating new opportunities for decent employment creation. The finalists for this year’s competition represent a new generation of entrepreneurs who will lead the economic transformation of our province and country towards a prosperous and inclusive society."

Acting GGDA CEO, Siphiwe Ngwenya, commended the finalists for reaching this stage of the competition. "The finalists in each category have responded to specific challenges that affect our society, and we expect these innovations will have a significant impact on service delivery, economic growth and job creation in the future. We congratulate the winners and The Innovation Hub on their success and look forward to seeing these innovations come to market," he said.

According to The Innovation Hub CEO, McLean Sibanda, the Gauteng Innovation Competition has once again attracted a mix of concepts from individuals and small enterprises across the province. "The winners will receive significant support to commercialise their innovations, not only in the form of prize money but also through mentorship, intellectual property advice, and linkages to additional funding sources," he said.

Previous winners of the first Gauteng Innovation Competition have made significant progress in the development of their innovations and in accessing potential market partners. GoMetro, a mobile railway information service application developed by Mobility, which was a prize winner in last year’s Innovation Competition, has been adopted by MetroRail in the Western Cape and in Gauteng.

GGDA

The Gauteng Growth and Development Agency (GGDA), previously known as Blue IQ and GEDA, is a merged entity by the Gauteng Department of Economic Development (GDED). The Gauteng Growth and Development Agency (GGDA) is the implementation arm of the GDED and assists the department in leading, facilitating and managing sustainable job creation and inclusive economic growth and development in the Gauteng City Region. For more information on the Gauteng Growth and Development Agency (GGDA), please contact Stephen Watson, Executive: Group Marketing, Communications and Strategic Promotions, on (+27) 83 380 3359.

The Innovation Hub

The Innovation Hub, a subsidiary of the Gauteng Growth and Development Agency (GGDA), is Africa’s first internationally accredited Science Park and a full member of the International Association of Science Parks (IASP). It is strategically located in Tshwane, South Africa's executive capital in the ‘smart’ province of Gauteng. As the leading knowledge-intensive business cluster in South Africa, The Innovation Hub implements initiatives identified in the Gauteng Innovation Strategy and Green Economy Strategy to advance the economic development and growth of the province through innovation. The Innovation Hub has created a unique space for high-tech entrepreneurs, world-class businesses, academics, researchers and venture capitalists to meet, network and prosper.

For more information, visit www.theinnovationhub.com or call (+27) 12 844 0000 or (076) 717 9878, or follow The Innovation Hub on Twitter @InnovHub and Facebook InnovHubZA.

 

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