Media Releases

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
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+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.

Tshwane, 23 June 2014: The Innovation Hub has partnered with the City of Tshwane to bring science, technology, engineering and mathematics closer to the youth especially those from previously disadvantaged backgrounds. The youth initiatives developed through the partnership are FabLab which will be launched on Monday, 23 June 2014 at The Innovation Hub., eKasi LABS will be launched on Friday, 27 June at the Ga-rankuwa Arts & Crafts Centre and the Kusile Mobile Labs will be distributed between the 23 and 27 June at various schools.

There is currently a shortage of skills in these sectors and one of the major causes is the inaccessibility to the facilities that allow young people to engage and explore. These youth initiatives offer a pragmatic solution to the highly inflated number of unemployed youths as entrepreneurial mentorship is offered as well as workshops to guide them on the process of commercializing an innovation.

A Fab Lab, which is an abbreviation for fabrication laboratory, is a miniature factory for digital fabrication where prototypes can be created and will be strategically located at The Innovation Hub as it is the first accredited science and technology park in Africa.
eKasi LABS which will be piloted at the Ga-rankuwa Arts and Crafts Centre in an area that can be easily accessed by the broader community where young people will create tangible solutions that address their community’s problems.

Kusile Mobile Science Labs are an innovative and cost-effective solution to the inadequate science laboratories available in primary and secondary schools which were designed and manufactured by local entrepreneurs from Kusile Labs & Technology and will be distributed at various local disadvantaged schools throughout the week from the 23 June.

Tshwane Mayor Kgosientso Ramokgopa said Tshwane is a progressive City that works towards igniting excellence and has demonstrated its readiness to introduce research and innovation in its operations.

“Our involvement in the innovation journey has seen us embrace digital technologies and includes a range of measures designed to facilitate access to connectivity. We owe it to the youth of 1976 to initiate programs that would liberate today’s youth from socio-economic segregation. I am glad that the introduction of the FabLab and Ekasi Labs will be the entry point into the exciting world of entrepreneurship, mathematics and science” said Ramokgopa. “One of the challenges faced by young people and budding entrepreneurs wanting to utilise facilities and services available at The Innovation Hub is access to our services as it is located in an area that is relatively inaccessible owing to the distance travelled as well as cost of transportation. This partnership was conceptualised from a strategic decision to ‘take innovation to the people’ by establishing co-creation spaces that will foster a culture of innovation and entrepreneurial activities that better the lives of the community and create wealth” - Mr McLean Sibanda, CEO of The Innovation Hub

Issued by The Innovation Hub Management Company 

For more information, please contact Linah Nematandani, Communication and Marketing Manager on This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it alternatively call 012 844 0030 or 076 7179878, Follow us on twitter: @InnovHub and please like our Facebook page, InnovHubZA


About Gauteng Growth and Development Agency.

The Gauteng Growth and Development Agency (GGDA), previously known as Blue IQ and GEDA, is a merged entity by the Gauteng Department of Economic Development (GDED). GGDA is the implementation arm of the GDED and assists the department in leading, facilitating and managing sustainable job creation and inclusive economic growth and development in the Gauteng City Region. For more information on GGDA, please contact Mandy Rutgers, Acting Executive: Group Marketing, Communications and Strategic Promotions on (+27) 82 496 2457.

About The Innovation Hub

The Innovation Hub, a subsidiary of the GGDA, is Africa's first internationally accredited Science Park and is a full member of the International Association of Science Parks. It is strategically located in Tshwane, South Africa's executive capital in the ‘smart' province of Gauteng. As the leading knowledge-intensive business cluster in South Africa, The Innovation Hub implements initiatives identified in the Gauteng Innovation Strategy and Green Economy Strategy to advance the economic development and growth of the province through innovation.

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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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