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The 2019 annual SA Innovation Summit took place at the Cape Town Stadium from 11 to 13 September in Cape Town. The Summit is Africa’s biggest tech start-up event and provides a powerful platform for nurturing, developing and showcasing the very best of African innovation, as well as facilitating thought-leadership around innovation.

At the heart of the annual Innovation Summit is the entrepreneur and through collaboration and partnerships, these African gems are sourced and provided with a platform to showcase what they do best. The entrepreneurial competitions were a highlight at this year’s Innovation Summit and a space was created where meaningful connections were formed, linking the entrepreneur with potential investors and the funding they need to grow their business.

The Inventors Garage, is an easily accessible competition for inventors, entrepreneurs and organisations who have a working prototype or product from proven concept to early commercialisation. The 2019 Inventors Garage competition was sponsored by the Technology Innovation Agency (TIA) where the winner stood a chance to win R10 000 in cash and business support from TIA. Finalists also receive the opportunity to exhibit their invention, prototype or design at the SA Innovation Summit and connect with all the attendees.

TIA is a national public entity that serves as the key institutional intervention to bridge the innovation chasm between research and development from higher education institutions, science councils, public entities, and the private sector, and commercialisation. TIA’s focus is on technology development; from proof of concept to the pre-commercialisation.

Twenty finalists were chosen from the 146 entries received from across Africa

3D Printed Prosthetic Hand – the unaffordable, uncomfortable and limited grasping functionality of current commercial prosthetic hands are serious pains for amputees. The addresses these pains by providing below-elbow amputees with a functional and low-cost robotic prosthetic hand.

Bespoke SmartMouth Guard – this is a medical device which offers a revolutionary breakthrough in concussion management. This device is silicone based moving away from conventional EVA offering superior shock absorption, protection, accuracy & tailor made comfort.

Simplex Micro Charger – a wireless charging solutions for low-medium voltage electronic devices and appliances. We have fully developed and prototyped an energy efficient radio frequency Energy harvesting integrated circuit (IC).

PoolSense – with a simple yet smart IoT floater all the hassle of pool care is a thing of the past. Just drop it in your pool, install the app and you are ready to go.

The BBF – Best Bag Forever – specifically designed to fit onto a wheelchair, unlike other bags which are created to fit onto a human’s back. It supports most of the bag’s weight, which prolongs the lifespan of the wheelchair back rest.

Octopus TentacleOptimising crop yield by providing real-time actionable insights, corrective and predictive analytics on soil conditions. To serve this purpose, wireless probes / “tentacles” are placed into the soil.

Reusable Sanitary Pad The most commonly used and commercially available menstrual hygiene products are tampons and sanitary pads. Main concerns around these products are cost, waste and health risks. The designed solution is a reusable pad made from medical grade silicone.

Cognitive Systems – developed the Artificial Mind Engine (AME), a generic, adaptive artificial intelligence platform that ingests large quantities of complex data in real-time, reasons about its patterns and uncertainty at the Edge, and provides instant feedback and insights to the users.

Voice Amplifier for Respirators – the mass work force will remove their respirator mask to communicate on 2-way radio. It will allow the employee to keep the mask on and communicate safely protecting him/her from the toxic environment at work.

Robot Learn – aimed at preparing the young generation for the 4th IR. A robotic kit designed to teach school-going learners programming and engineering skills.

Spinetector Suit – a protective costume which lessens the impact of injury sustained by underground mine workers when they are hit by rocks either due to disturbances caused by earthquakes or vibrations on the Earth’s crust.

Green Coal – produces charcoal and other derivative products from Alien Invasive Plants and Biomass waste.

Mechit Robotics – educational robotic kits for the youth that use open sources thus giving the youth a chance to create and commercialise their own solutions.

UmoyAir Communications – teaches real industry-based tech skills and avoids the restricted closed source approach of conventional robotic kits. The kits introduce the practical applications coherent with theory associated with Mathematics, Physical Science and Information Technology.

SLE Farming – links smallholder farmers to markets and introduce South Africa to an alternative way of farming in situations and areas where agricultural land access or availability is an issue.

Maths Whartels – A Neuropsychological approach to Maths Education. Creating a system that will help children to do maths and science.

Smart eBin –  an Internet of Things based waste management bin system with real time monitoring systems which integrate sensors and wireless communication technologies allowing clients to temporarily safely store hazardous electrical, electronic waste.

So Yhum – Healthy Sma2rt Snacks from Climate-Smart Crops.

EcoWarrior System – uses cloud computing to provide real time feedback to drivers and inspire driver performance through a game like engagement framework where drivers will be ranked according to their performance.

After much deliberation, the CEO of TIA, Fuzlin Levy-Hassen, awarded the first prize of the 2019 Inventors Garage Competition to Tshidiso Radinne for Shuri. Shuri is Africa’s first edge computing and proprietary machine learning platform with computer vision, natural language processing and analytics APIs for IoT hardware providers, developers, systems integrators and large enterprises (government and private) that want to build intelligent applications and devices. Using Shuri’s AI computer vision API software has been built that uses satellite imagery to proactively detect and monitor water leakages in pipeline networks.


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Von Seidels, the 2021 IP Partner of the SA Innovation Summit, will provide 3 prizes in total, 1 for each competition: Prizes for the winners of the Africa Cup, Inventors Garage and Fem-In-Tech competitions from our IP partner, Von Seidels: A brand audit and IP registrations to the value of R20,000 for each competition winner.

The 2021 partner of the Inventors Garage, the Department of Trade, industry and Competition is generously sponsoring amazing cash prizes to the value of R120 000 to help entrepreneurs grow their businesses.


The Innovation Hub partners with the SA Innovation Summit 2021

The Innovation Hub, the innovation agency of the Gauteng Province is a wholly owned subsidiary of the Gauteng Growth and Development Agency.  It was established by the Gauteng Provincial Government through its Department of Economic Development to promote economic development and competitiveness of Gauteng through fostering innovation and entrepreneurship.

TIH offers several incubation programmes in the Bioeconomy (agro processing and pharmaceutical), Smart Industries (ICT and advanced manufacturing) and Green Economy (Water purification, waste management and renewable energy). In addition, The Innovation Hub operates a range of enterprise development, skills development and innovation enabling programmes both in the science park and throughout the Gauteng region and start-ups from these programmes will be showcasing at the 2021 SA Innovation Summit – Expanding Horizons.