Posted: September 20, 2021
Three inventors supported by the Department of Trade, Competition and Industry (the dtic) to participate in the Inventors Garage competition are confident that their inventions will not only capture the imagination of the judges, but will also propel them to greater heights in business. The competition is part of the annual South African Innovation Summit. The finalists will get the last opportunity to impress a panel of experts when they pitch their inventions at the summit that will take place in Cape Town from tomorrow to Thursday, 23 September 2021.
the dtic has collaborated with the summit to host the Inventors Garage competition. A number of grassroots innovators identified by the innovation and technology programmes of the dtic will participate in the competition.
Mr Itumeleng Ratlhogo (29), a Computer Science University of South Africa student from Klerksdorp in the North West, is confident that his wireless diabetes monitoring device will attract the attention of the judges and potential investors.
“The competition will be the platform for us to showcase our invention. We are hoping to get funding in order to commercialise it thereafter. But I am also looking forward to networking with other young designers and inventors and sharing ideas with them,” says Ratlhogo whose invention was inspired by her late mother, Germina who was diabetic.
Mr Tsedzuluso Netshimbupfe (27) from Tshimbupfe Village near Thohoyandou in Limpopo, is into agricultural technology and farming. He has developed a low cost technology that he has named FarmRu. He hopes the exposure that he will get through the competition will enable him to commercialise it in order to help farmers in the rural areas in particular, become efficient.
“The technology we are developing is meant to assist small-scale farmers in rural areas to become more efficient and cost-effective by using it to perform fertility testing, helping them to save water, and by collecting data about climatic conditions,” says Netshimbupfe.
Mr Kgothatso Ramoshaba (28) has established a charcoal manufacturing company that is producing charcoal from the marula tree nut without cutting the trees down.
“We are confident that the panel of judges will be impressed by our environmentally-friendly invention as we do not cut trees to manufacture the charcoal. We are hoping that the competition will open doors for us. We are aiming to source funding in order to commercialise our production and to grow the company. This will enable us to contribute in creating employment in Phalaborwa where the company is operating from,” says Ramoshaba.
According to the Deputy Minister of Trade, Industry and Competition, Mr Fikile Majola, who will deliver a keynote address at the summit, the aim of the competition is to provide an opportunity for entrepreneurs with a working prototype or product from proven concept to pre-commercialisation to gain access to funding support or incubation linkages, market exposure and business support.
“Grassroots innovation support is one of the strategies aimed at achieving the department’s strategic objectives of growing and transforming the economy by unlocking industrialisation in rural and township environment. Grassroots innovation is one of the important tools to accelerate economic transformation and diversification, hence the establishment of the Grassroots Innovator Facilitation Scheme (GIFS) in the department, that is dedicated to the support of grassroots innovators,” says Majola.
The GIFS, which is part of the Khoebo Innovation Promotion Programme of the dtic, offers both financial and non-financial support to stimulate the economic activity of the grassroots innovators, particularly in rural and townships communities. It supports individuals who undertake innovative efforts using technology to solve localised problems.
Bongani Lukhele – Director: Media Relations
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Issued by: The Department of Trade, Industry and Competition (the dtic)
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