Posted: November 25, 2019
the dti and Nelson Mandela Bay Metro to Host Grassroots Innovation Workshop
|The Department of Trade and Industry (the dti) in partnership with the Eastern Cape Department of Economic Development, Environmental affairs & Tourism (DEDEA) will host the Eastern Cape leg of the National Grassroots Innovation Workshop at the Nelson Mandela Bay iHUB, in Port Elizabeth on Tuesday, 26 November 2019.
The hosting of the workshop results forms an exercise that was previously undertaken by the dti to search for grassroots innovators in rural and township areas and to establish accessibility to the dti’s innovation support instruments by underserviced citizens in line with government’s drive to revitalise township and rural economies.
The Deputy Minister of Trade and Industry, Mr Fikile Majola explains that the exercise has revealed that there was valuable knowledge and experience that is generated by grassroots innovators in townships and rural areas, where there was mainly a shortage of infrastructure and services.
“To add value to this critical knowledge, we have resolved to engage these innovators through a series of workshops set up to form partnerships and allow our officials to gain better understanding on the needs of grassroots innovators so as to enable for an adjustment of existing instruments to meet their needs,” says Majola.
The Eastern Cape Grassroots Innovation Workshop will be the third of a four provinces campaign, which has already been to Limpopo and Mpumalanga.
“It is anticipated that these workshops will place us in best position to cast our focus on the informal sector of doing business, which has generally been neglected. We are expecting to unearth technologies from underdeveloped communities, to create networking platforms for technology development and commercialisation and focused technology development and innovative thinking at grassroots levels,” he says.
It is envisaged that the workshop will assist the dti to gain better understanding of the needs of grassroots innovators to enable for the development or adjustment of existing instruments to meet their needs. The target participants for the workshop are innovators of all ages including youth, women and entrepreneurs seeking new ways of improving their business processes from Port Elizabeth and surrounding areas.