Green solutions to pressing issues
WATER-saving taps, larvae that turn organic waste into animal food and plastic car parts made from agricultural waste are among the innovations by entrepreneurs who have reached the final round in the Global Cleantech Innovation Programme for SMEs in South Africa (GCIP-SA).
The 11 finalists were chosen for their clean-technology innovations that provide solutions to serious environmental challenges. The categories include energy efficiency, renewable energy, waste beneficiation, water efficiency, and green buildings and green transportation.
“The selection of the top performers for 2017 was based on key business aspects such as product/market fit, business model, financing strategy, management team and sustainability,” said GCIP-SA national project manager Gerswynn McKuur.
Part of a global initiative, the GCIP-SA is a competition-based business accelerator offering participants extensive training and mentoring to help them get their products investment-ready, and connect them to networks of local and international peers as well as potential partners and funders.
The winners and two runners-up will be announced at an event on November 3, with Science and Technology minister Naledi Pandor as the keynote speaker.
The winner will receive R120 000 and a trip to the Cleantech Open Global Forum in California, US, to compete against the winners of other GCIP programmes from across the globe. The two runners-up will each receive R60 000.
Awards will also be given to the most promising female and youth teams, and for the innovation with the largest social impact. The 11 finalists are: Stephanie Pons (Beautiful-U) – TouchTap, a special valve designed to control water flow from any tap.
Albin Baecker – Biotrans Pole Sleeves, a flexible, impenetrable sleeve that covers the bottom of wooden poles, protecting the wood from decaying and increasing the lifespan of the poles.
Euodia Naanyane-Bouwer (Gracious Nubian), who developed washable, re-usable and bio-degradable sanitary pads.
David John Price (Green Iron Tech), who developed an iron-bearing material conversion technology, an eco-friendly, lowcost way of turning discarded iron bearings into a sellable product.
George Oliver (IceEnergy) – a thermal battery that efficiently stores energy in the form of latent heat in ice.
Bandile Dlabantu (Khepri Bioscience) – Mobile Fly Farms, which use black soldier fly larvae to convert organic waste into animal feed. This technology is aimed at emerging farmers.
Marius van der Merwe (NewCarbon), who produces biochar to feed poultry or sheep. Biochar reduces carbon emissions by using biomass, and improves the health of poultry and livestock.
Sara Andreotti’s Sharksafe barrier is an eco-friendly physical barrier that protects beachgoers from sharks, without harming sharks and other sea animals.
Linda Linganiso (Unizulu) developed a process that uses agricultural waste to make plastic car parts.
Clement Mokoenene’s vehicle energy harvesting system uses a special road overlay to harvest pressure as vehicles drive over it, to generate renewable energy.
Pontsho Moletsane (Yellow Beast) developed Nosets, an automated irrigation system that enhances the efficiency of the irrigation of shallow-root agricultural crops.
The GCIP-SA is part of a global initiative that aims to address the most pressing energy, environmental and economic challenges through promoting clean technology innovation and supporting small and medium-size enterprises (SMEs) and start-ups.
The GCIP-SA is implemented by the UN Industrial Development Organisation (Unido), with funding by the Global Environment Facility.
In South Africa, Unido has partnered with the Technology Innovation Agency as the execution and hosting institution for the GCIP, while US-based Cleantech Open serves as the main knowledge partner of the global programme.
Meet the finalists at http:// southafrica.cleantechopen.org/ finalists-2017/