GAP Award Competition 2018 Welcoming address by Acting CEO Adv. Pieter Holl

  • Programme Director, Ms Melanie Bala
  • MEC Lebogang Maile, MEC for the Department of Economic Development, Environment, Agriculture and Rural Development
  • Members of GGDA and TIHMC Board
  • Prof Brian Mitchell, Emory University’s Goizueta Business School in Atlanta, Georgia
  • Mr Vusi Skosana, Executive for Innovation Enabling Support, Technology Innovation AgencyOur valued partners Technology Innovation Agency, Emory, and mLab
  • CEO of various organisations
  • Members of the GAP Innovation Competition Adjudication Panels
  • Representatives from all sectors present
  • Our most important guests of the various GAP categories
  • Gauteng Department of Economic Development, GGDA and all the subsidiaries staff members
  • Members of the media
  • Ladies and gentlemen

 

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.

Distinguished Guests

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:

  • 2011 GAP ICT winner Sowertech who designed AftaRobot that is designed to help those who travel with mini-bus taxis in the Johannesburg Southern Suburbs Taxi Association (JSSTA), the app allows commuters to pre-book a taxi ride from a specific location (a taxi rank);
  • 2014 GAP Biosciences winner Smartspot who developed TB Diagnostic verification kit that is distributed together with GeneXpert equipment
  • 2015 GAP ICT 3rd Prize winner HearScreeen who developed a smartphone hearing screening innovation, he is now exporting in the US, UK, Singapore, Australia and Africa
  •  2016 GAP Green winner Kusini Water, incubated at the Climate Innovation Centre South Africa, whose response to the challenge of unclean and unsafe drinking water is the use of marula shell nuts as a purifant, this is an example of a social innovation that not only restores human dignity but also reduces barriers of access to safe drinking water.

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 

 

Thank you…