College of Economic & Management Sciences

Unisa innovator wins another big award

Professor Marcia Mkansi, from the Department of Operations Management in Unisa’s College of Economic and Management Sciences (CEMS), won first prize in the medical category at the annual Gauteng Accelerator Programme (GAP) Innovation competition. Now in its 10th year, the competition rewards innovators in the ICT, green, biotech, and medical fields, as well as those driving township economies.

The winners of GAP 2020 share R3 million in seed funding to further incubate and establish their businesses. The incubation services include working with technical and business mentors, intellectual property lawyers, and access to The Innovation Hub’s network of industry and government partners. You can view the full list of winners and their prizes here.

Mkansi’s submission was mobile health technology that increases the accessibility and availability of anti-malaria drugs and artemisinin-based combination therapies (ACTs). The innovation uses data obtained from a three-year research project to advance a theoretical supply chain coordination of ACTs into a practical mobile application tool or software. The software can be used by general hospitals in Sub-Saharan Africa and other developing economies with coordination and technological challenges. It manages, monitors, and improves the availability of ACTs.

Earlier in the year Mkansi won joint second place in the European Conference on Research Methodology for Business and Management Studies (ECRM) awards with her Research Methods Index (RMI) innovation.

At Unisa’s annual Research and Innovation Awards she was named joint winner of the Most Prolific Innovator over the Past Five Years Award with six disclosures over five years. She also won the award for Most Prolific Innovator for 2019: Copyright Protected Innovations Category and a Half Million Rand Club Award for the DST-NRF Conference Fund in 2019.

Stepping up to the challenges faced in SA

For the first time in The Innovation Hub’s history, the event was hosted virtually with attendees tuning in from across South Africa and internationally.

“This year has proved that the next generation of entrepreneurs can adapt to change and take hold of opportunities within the market,” says Advocate Pieter Holl, CEO of The Innovation Hub. “Our innovators have stepped up to the challenges faced in South Africa today. We are proud to see so many entrepreneurs involved in the sciences and blazing the trail for other innovators and entrepreneurs. It is our privilege to be able to provide them with the mentorship and funding that they need to advance their projects,” he added.

The objective of the competition is to look for innovators, researchers, and entrepreneurs who are working on novel technologies that will improve the efficiency of government service delivery, increase the competitiveness of the local economy, and enhance the quality of life of ordinary citizens.

*By Ilze Crous, Communication and Marketing Specialist, College of Economic and Management Sciences

Publish date: 2020/12/16