FNB, Paperight - SA's innovation masters

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First National Bank (FNB) and start-up Paperight were named the Innovation Masters at the inaugural Accenture Innovation Index SA.

Accenture revealed the results of the 2013 Innovation Index, in association with The Da Vinci Institute, at a gala awards dinner in Sandton last night.

According to Accenture, the Innovation Index aims to measure, promote and reward innovative ideas and commercial concepts across public and private sectors in the South African marketplace.

FNB won the Zenith award, presented to an organisation with an annual turnover above R40 million, while Paperight won the Apex award for an organisation with an annual turnover of less than R40 million.

According to Accenture, the bank has fully implemented more than 8 160 innovations since 2004, and was named Most Innovative Bank at the 2012 BAI-Finacle Global Banking Innovation Awards, as well as Most Innovative Bank in SA for the past seven years in the Banking Innovation Study, conducted by the Innovation Agency.

Paperight, which turns any business with a printer and an Internet connection into a print-on-demand bookstore, was recognised for allowing businesses to access an online library from which they can legally print out books, magazines and other documents. The company also lets publishers earn licence fees from the print-outs, cutting out expensive distribution and printing costs, with the printouts, on average, 20% cheaper than conventional editions of books.

In addition, Lodox Systems' Xmplar-dr, a full-body X-ray scanner for trauma and forensic pathology use, was named the top innovation concept. 1 Call Accredited Services and Providers and Absa also received special mentions.

"The inaugural Accenture Innovation Index in South Africa received 190 entries from a range of organisations across multiple industries," said Accenture SA CE, William Mzimba. "This remarkable number of participants is a huge achievement, and has ensured a more accurate benchmark for measuring and rewarding innovation in South Africa. It is also an indication of the level of aspiration for innovation, and we congratulate those companies that have been recognised as South Africa's leading innovators."

For Jayshree Naidoo, CEO of Da Vinci Design, companies in SA are increasingly focusing on innovation at all levels and are expanding this to include open innovation.

"We have also seen the shift to a structured journey approach that uses innovation as an enabler to achieving sought-after business objectives," Naidoo said. "The Accenture Innovation Index, in association with Da Vinci, has provided, for the first time in South Africa, a measurable benchmark against which to track an organisation's ability to innovate against a structured framework, allowing companies to perform a 'health check' on all aspects of innovation."

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