It is my honour and a privilege to welcome you to the 7th annual GAP Competition ceremony, an event that we proudly host in collaboration with Emory University’s Goizueta Business School in Atlanta Georgia and the Technology Innovation Agency to celebrate innovators, researchers and entrepreneurs presently working on novel technologies and services intended to accelerate the efficiency of government and the private sector.
GAP Innovation competition is one of the initiatives proposed in the Gauteng Innovation Strategy to stimulate interest in innovation within targeted sectors and to improve service delivery of public and private sectors. It is through this programme that we are able to improve the Infrastructure, health care sector, transport and community safety and increase competitiveness of our province.
Innovation is described as the process of transforming ideas into value. At its core innovation has the capacity to reconstruct the mechanisms of society by reducing and even removing barriers to access, such innovators are as follows:
These entrepreneurs amongst others are specialists in their various fields, some environmental scientists and others engineers who have applied their academic research to responding to challenges experienced by government and private sector to impact the livelihood of our citizens.
The task of The Innovation Hub is to create a knowledge economy wherein the economic drivers of the province are a diversification of traditional resource- based industry, with the primary objective being increased human capital investment and development. Presently, The Innovation Hub has existing partnerships with academia, research and development institutions and multi-national corporations. It is through these partnerships, that skills acquired from programmes such, CoachLab Skills Development programme, FabLab, and our business incubation programmes have been either taken to market or absorbed by the private sector.
Since inception in 2011, the five categories of GAP attracted more than 1800 entries and invested over R13 million in seed funding and incubation support. All the participants for GAP Innovation Competition see value in the developmental aspects of the Competition and those that participate indicate that It is not about winning but about the value such as skills development, networking and mentorship that the programme brings.
I thank you for joining us tonight and I wish all the nominees well, remember you are all winners