News & Media

Bright ideas on show at Innovation Bridge

Innovation Bridge is a technology matchmaking and showcasing event that took place at the Gallagher Convention Centre in Midrand on 15 September 2017, creating a platform for innovation and technology commercialisation partnerships. The event symbolises the crossing over of an innovative idea to an invention that has viable prospects for commercialisation and socio-economic development.

The organisers were the Department of Science and Technology (DST), together with the Technology Innovation Agency (TIA) and the National Intellectual Property Management Office (NIPMO).

Unisa, through the Directorate of Innovation and Technology Transfer, was one of more than 100 exhibitors from South African universities, science councils, and companies, some of which are supported by TIA and other government and private sector organisations supporting technology commercialisation.

Three Unisa technologies, all responding to the call for social and economic change, were showcased. These were the waste beer recovery, lithium ion batteries, and LEVELSAPP—an electronic platform for simplified university degree selection and application. During the event, Department of Science and Technology Minister Naledi Pandor and her delegation visited the Unisa stand.

DITT team: Hazel Mathye, Lunathi Hontoti, Hlumela Kunene, and Ntanga Muanalo

In a panel discussion, the minister said South Africa did not yet have a system to gradually mature ideas into viable and sustainable businesses. However, events such as Innovation Bridge created a space to enhance the role of government, business and society in advancing the country by harnessing innovation to achieve inclusive economic growth.

Pavlo Phitidis, CEO of Aurik Business Accelerator, said that to maintain a sustainable innovative business, it was necessary to understand the relevance and context of a country, and to start big and then take small steps. In that way, inventors would know which problem they were solving, at which scale, and who they were serving.

For more information about the DST’s innovation and technology transfer efforts, visit the Innovation Bridge portal.

*By Mpho Moloele

Hazel Mathye (Technology Transfer Officer) elaborating on Unisa innovations to attendees

Ayanda Noma (Director: DITT) and Prof. Bhekie Mamba (Executive Dean: College of Science, Engineering, and Technology) during the Innovation Bridge Matchmaking and Showcase event