As we drwa close to the end of the year, allow me to share activities that we had in the second quarter and highlight those that are upcoming. In August 2018, The Innovation Hub celebrated women in entrepreneurship by hosting the “I Am Woman” event in celebration women’s month. The events were held in 17 August 2018 at eKasiLab, Mabopane and 24 August 2018 at The Innovation Hub respectively. These events were devoted at creating a platform for women to network and share their entrepreneurial journeys and how they manage to juggle family and the work place. At both events, a host of game changers, influencers and pioneers took the stage to share their respective journeys, to network and to empower their fellow women. On 28 September 2018, we celebrated Heritage month with our precinct companies with the aim to foster a sense of community and provide tenants with the opportunity to Interact with fellow innovation counterparts that they normally wouldn’t be exposed to. I want to take this opportunity to thank the following companies; SANSA, SACNASP, Altis Biologics, Afrocentric and Sappi for their eagerness and participation in the activities that are geared towards improving collaboration and networking within the park. We planning on going bigger next year and we call upon other precinct companies to join us as we celebrate the cultural diversity within the park.
On 26 October 2018, we were honoured to have been chosen by Gauteng MEC for Roads and Transport, Ismail Vadi to launch the Electronic Cargo Bike (e-cargo bike) pilot project at The Innovation Hub. The pilot was launched in collaboration with multiple industry players such as CSIR, the German Ministry as well as the Sharpeville Kasi Development Project (SKDP). The e-cargo bike is an electric powered bike that moves goods and it is envisioned to provide a cost-effective, safer and greener “last-mile” solution in the freight distribution system.
On 01 November 2018, we collaborated with Cisco South Africa to launch a R10 Million cutting edge incubation facility at The Innovation Hub, the incubation facility will assist to develop SMME’s in the digital age and speed up entrepreneurs’ access to market.
During the second week of November a series of activities were hosted, which would effectively connect entrepreneurs, stimulate collaboration, and dynamically engage all players in the entrepreneurship.We kicked off #GEW at the eKasiLab Mamelodi at the Tshwane North TVET College Mamelodi Campus for the 2018 eKasi Summit, themed “Innovation for Economic Growth” where entrepreneurs were given opportunities to network and host elevator pitches to investors in attendance. On 15 November 2018, the MEC for Gauteng Economic Development joined by Emory University representatives and the Technology Innovation Agency and other stakeholders in the innovation ecosystem celebrated innovators; recognise and reward innovative ideas that has the potential to impact the Gauteng economy through the Gauteng Accelerator Programme Innovation Competitions Awards Ceremony and Gala Dinner was hosted at The Innovation Hub, Lynnwood Tshwane. It is pleasing to note that since 2011, the four categories of GAP have attracted more than 700 entries and invested over R13 million in seed funding and incubation support to over 76 start-ups. On 20 to 22 November, The Innovation Hub have joined forces with Black Umbrella, Absa, GEP and NYD to host a series of workshops intended to impact entrepreneurs that are ready to take their business forward.
With regards to infrastructure, we are expanding The Innovation Hub as a Science and Technology Park by way of providing additional infrastructure with some of the projects completed and others currently underway:
1. To facilitate the closure of Hotel Street we completed the rehabilitation of the service road (which is the emergency access via Sappurs Contour Street in Lynnwood behind the koppie mountain leading to The Innovation Drive inside the park. The upgrade of Hotel street is delayed and will resume in January 2019, pending all approvals required.
2. The Biopark@Gauteng Phase 2 Building was completed and currently procurement processes are underway for the construction of Biopark@Gauteng Phase 3, an advanced manufacturing facility. The building will add two basements parking’s and three stories of some 6000sqm, to provide to high growth biotechnology companies primarily in the health sector.
3. The Innovation Hub is also piloting LED lighting technologies in partnership with The Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) and the Department of Energy to roll out the light emitting Diode demonstration project and use The Innovation Hub as the exhibition Site as part of green economy initiative. It is envisaged that the implementation of this project will result in potential investors to come and set up shop at The Innovation Hub. The main aim is to demonstrate different technical solutions for LED street lighting to the municipalities. The installation of LED will result in cost reduction in South Africa due to high efficiencies of the LED equipment used, which will also contribute to making South African economy more competitive and efficient. The LED equipment is produced locally in South Africa. These new technologies can reduce street lighting costs by approximately 60%. The project will be launched early 2019.
4. We are awaiting final approval from National Treasury in order to commence with construction of Enterprise Buildings 2 and 3 (EB2 and EB3) respectively.
5.We have also appointed a company to assist The Innovation Hub with its current electricity billing system. Additional electricity meters are being installed and we are also investigating the possibility to install pre-paid electricity meters in the Enterprise and BioPark buildings. Further updates in this regard will follow,
To stay abreast with all the exciting entrepreneurship news, information and opportunities available at The Innovation Hub, connect with us on our social media platforms: follow us on Twitter @Innovhub, like us on Facebook InnovhubZA and Instagram Innovhub or visit our website www.theinnovationhub.com . Alternatively call our help desk on 012 844 0000. We always like to hear from you.
On behalf of The Innovation Hub staff, I thank you for partnering with us in promoting the expansion of innovation in the Gauteng Region.