Media Releases

Tshwane: Tuesday, 5 August 2014

The Innovation Hub’s OpenIX platform has launched two new challenges on behalf of a large South African fast moving consumer goods company (FMCG) and the Gauteng Department of Infrastructure Development (GDID). Interested parties are encouraged to register and submit their responses online at before the respective closing dates.

A local FMCG company is looking for the ‘Aerosol of the Future’. The challenge is to develop or supply an alternative solution for the dispensing of liquid in FMCG type products such as paints, cosmetics and insecticides currently administered through aerosol delivery mechanisms that significantly reduce costs in the final product. The product should target the lower LSM segment of emerging markets and must have completed the scientific research phases, with a predictable and stable short to medium-term development horizon, so as to enable market rollout in the next two to three years. Entries will remain open until Tuesday, 9 September 2014.

For the second challenge, mobile app developers are called to propose an innovative mobile application that can increase uptake and efficiency of artisans using the existing e-Maintenance portal. The Gauteng Department of Infrastructure Development (GDID) is offering this opportunity to mobile technology innovators to implement their solution in public health facilities in the province with the potential for procurement. Proposals should be from enterprises with appropriate capabilities, preferably small enterprises in Gauteng. Entries will remain open until Wednesday, 20 August 2014.

"The collaboration between The Innovation Hub and the two new challenge owners again demonstrates the important role that science and technology parks play in mediating interacting between government, industry and the broader innovation community, including universities, research institutions and innovative local entrepreneurs. By building these linkages we are able to contribute to the growth of established enterprises whilst creating new opportunities for technology start-ups and job creation to transform our economy. Ultimately this positions Gauteng and South Africa for inclusive growth in an emerging knowledge economy” - McLean Sibanda, CEO of The Innovation Hub.

Innovation is integral to promoting efficiency and effectiveness in government service delivery and increasing firm competitiveness. Running a challenge provides a unique opportunity for organisations to accelerate their innovation process by innovating beyond their four walls. This view is echoed by Dr Boitumelo Semete-Makokotlela, GM: R&D and Innovation at The Innovation Hub in noting that, “OpenIX is a mechanism for efficiently engaging with a large, diverse community of potential solution providers. The solutions are typically late stage R&D or pre-commercial, offering clients an early-mover advantage. They are also sourced from adjacent sectors and more peripheral actors outside of the traditional supplier relationships, giving access to novel ideas and technologies”.

Tshwane: Tuesday, 29 July 2014
The African Innovation Foundation (AIF) has partnered with The Innovation Hub, a subsidiary of the Gauteng Growth and Development Agency (GGDA), to push the envelope further in unearthing and supporting the commercialisation of innovative and entrepreneurial talent on the African continent through its flagship programme Innovation Prize for Africa (IPA).

Started in 2011, the IPA honours and encourages innovative achievements that contribute toward developing new products, increasing efficiency or saving cost in Africa. Entrepreneurs with innovations in manufacturing and service industry, health and well-being, agriculture and agribusiness, environment, energy and water and ICTs, are eligible to compete for total prize money of USD150,000 and non-financial support offered by IPA partners such as The Innovation Hub.

With a focus on unearthing market-oriented solutions for African-led development, the IPA acknowledges and encourages the endeavor of innovators and entrepreneurs and works to raise their profiles on the development agenda. The first prize of USD100,000 is awarded to the best innovation based on marketability, originality, scalability, social impact, scientific/technical aspect and clear business potential. The second prize of USD 25,000 is then given to innovation with the best commercial/business potential, with the special prize for social impact of USD 25,000 being given to innovation with the highest social impact in the community/country.

The 2013/14 first prize winner announced in a Gala Dinner held in Abuja in May 2014 went to South African start-up Altis Biologics, based at The Innovation Hub, for their healthcare innovation Altis OBM, a bone regeneration medical device. The second prize went to Togo based Logou Minsob for his FoufouMix machine innovation which is a first in Togo’s manufacturing industry and other countries where Foufou is eaten. The Social Impact prize was won by Ethiopian Dr Melesse Tenegen for Aybar BBM which is set to transform the agriculture industry. The IPA increases exposure for the winners and opens more doors for funding and other opportunities that will result in perceptible growth.

The Innovation Hub is Africa’s first accredited science and technology park that is recognized as a central region for innovation and knowledge creation in Gauteng which promotes economic growth and competitiveness in order to better the lives of the community. Over the past few years, The Innovation Hub has strengthened the innovation eco-system and has established relationships with several science parks and incubators across the African continent. It is equipped to champion this partnership to ensure that the quality of entries is of a high standard and more countries are able to participate in the awards which will promote diversity in the entries.

“Through the Innovation Prize for Africa (IPA), we are able to mobilize African stakeholders to support home grown innovations. We continuously look to forge strategic partnerships with leading organizations in order to achieve better results and wider impact. We believe that an innovation ecosystem and value system are the next steps in creating a sustainable environment for African-led ideas and solutions to be at the forefront of development across the continent as well as globally. We are therefore pleased to collaborate with the Innovation Hub, whose expertise and know how will help take African innovation to the next level" –Jean Claude Bastos de Morais, AIF/IPA Founder

“The Innovation Hub has established collaborations with various science parks, higher education institutions, incubators and governments within the SADC regions as well as other parts of Africa. Our partnership with the AIF to further develop the IPA ties into our vision to be an agency of choice to foster socio-economic development and competitiveness on the African continent” – Mr McLean Sibanda, CEO of The Innovation Hub

Entries for this year’s competition open on 1st August 2014 and will close on 31st October 2014. Further information can be accessed from

For The Innovation Hub:
Tanyani Daku (Office of the CEO)
This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
Call: (012) 844 0076 / 081 722 7610
Follow us on Twitter: @Innovhub
Find us on Facebook: InnovhubZA

For AIF/Innovation Prize for Africa:
Pauline Mujawamariya
This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
+41 44 515 5466
Twitter: @IPAprize
Facebook: Innovation Prize for Africa (IPA)

Gauteng Biotech Awards Competition Open for New Entries

Gauteng, 30 July 2014 25 July 2014 - The 4th Biotech Fundi Awards competition, a flagship programme that brings together various biotechnology role players and stakeholders with the sole objective of recognising achievements and excellence in the sector has open for new entries.

The Biotech Fundi awards are implemented by the Gauteng Department of Agriculture and Rural Development in partnership with The Innovation Hub in the City of Tshwane.

The Biotech Fundi Awards have initially been set up by the provincial government to support, promote and develop those individuals and companies who make a significant impact on the biotechnology sector in Gauteng.

The MEC for Gauteng Department of Rural Development and Agriculture, Ms Nonhlanhla Faith Mazibuko says “These awards fits in perfectly with the Gauteng biotechnology strategy as we promote, honour and develop individuals and companies who are making a significant impact in the biotechnology sector. I am excited to be continuing with this important event as we stimulate interest and continue to look at mechanism to improve the livelihood of citizens in our country.”

“The 2013 Biotech Fundi awards competitions were of a very high standard and awarded to high calibre of Biotech researchers and entrepreneurs. This competition created a number of opportunities for companies and individuals in Biotechnology research and development, private sector, academia, capacity building and were recognised through six different award categories. The categories for 2014 include will the following:

Biotech Fundi Students Award 2014
Biotech Fundi Enterprise Builder / Entrepreneur Award 2014
Biotech Fundi Research Award 2014
Biotech Fundi Young Researcher Awards 2014
Biotech Fundi Capacity Builder Award 2014
Biotech Fundi Communicator Award 2014
Biotech Fundi Public Leadership Award 2014
Biotech Fundi Lifetime Contribution Award 2014

It is fitting that this awards ceremony be held in the City of Tshwane as Gauteng boast major academic institutions in the region, such as the Tshwane University of Technology, the University of Pretoria, the University of Johannesburg, University of South Africa and MEDUNSA, and the world-class research organisations including the Agriculture Research Council, Council for Scientific and Industrial Research, MINTEK and the National Research Foundation, Gauteng offers a unique combination of various resources to form a world-class scientific and research and development hub. Coupled with its excellent manufacturing and industrial facilities as the commercial centre of Africa, Gauteng is ideally positioned to take the lead in the development and promotion of Biotechnology excellence.

The closing date for this year’s entries is Sunday, 07 August 2014 at 23:30 pm. A stringent adjudication process will then take place by an independent adjudication committee. The process will then finally culminate in the official awards ceremony to be held at the Innovation Hub on 21 August 2014.

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The Innovation Hub is a subsidiary of the Gauteng Growth and Development Agency , an agency of the Gauteng Department of Economic Development Department.

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