ACHIEVERS

SA innovators tops

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From the world’s first injectable skeleton regeneration protein to a domestic waste biogas system, Africans are innovating the future of the continent. And four of the ten finalists in the 2014 Innovation Prize for Africa (IPA) are South Africans.

The African Innovation Foundation (AIF) announced the finalists of the prestigious Innovation Prize for Africa (IPA) 2014. Ten African innovators have created practical solutions to some of the continent’s most intractable problems, from a domestic waste biogas system to a wafer matrix for paediatric antiretroviral (ARV) drug treatment. Chosen from almost 700 applications from 42 countries, the finalists for the IPA 2014 represent Africans’ potential to address the challenges that are unique to the continent.

The winners of the IPA 2014 will be announced at an awards ceremony on 5 May in Abuja, Nigeria, where keynote speaker, the Honourable Minister Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, Nigeria’s Minister of finance, will highlight the importance of innovation to unlock Africa’s potential for sustainable development and economic growth. The winner will receive USD 100 000 for the best innovation based on marketability, originality, scalability, social impact and clear business potential.  A runner up will receive USD 25 000 for the best commercial potential and another winner will receive USD 25 000 as a special prize for innovation with the highest social impact.  Prior to the awards ceremony, a roundtable featuring innovation experts will take place, to address the theme “A Path to Building Industrial Nation Skillsets in Africa”.

“As global leaders gather for the 2014 World Economic Forum on Africa to discuss approaches to inclusive growth and job creation, the IPA 2014 innovators demonstrate that the best way to achieve equitable economic growth for all Africans is to invest in local innovation and entrepreneurship,” said Jean-Claude Bastos de Morais, founder of the African Innovation Foundation and the IPA. 

The South African finalists are: 

Ashley Uys - OculusID Impairment Screening

The OculusID Impairment Screening device is designed to measure pupil response to light emissions. The pupil response can then be measured against pre-determined benchmarks. These benchmarks are applied to measure substance abuse, physiological defects and even fatigue. The device is a far less invasive procedure than existing methods.

Elise Rasel Cloete - GMP Traceability Management Software

This software is programmed to capture, store and trace data about livestock and enables data to be captured in real-time. The data is then stored in an ear tag placed on livestock and backed up on a remote server.

Dr Nicolaas Duneas - Altis Osteogenic Bone Matrix (Altis OBM™)

Altis OBM is the world’s first injectable bone-graft product containing a complex mix of various bone growth compounds derived from porcine (pig). It is used to stimulate the host’s own tissue regeneration system in a way that leads to the healing of a fracture or bone void, much in the same way as occurs in a normal unassisted fracture healing processes.

Viness Pillay - WaferMatTM

WaferMatTM is a tasty paediatric formulation of ARV therapy in the form of a wafer that dissolves within 3 seconds of being placed in the mouth. The wafer makes the process of administering the drug to children easier and also makes absorption more efficient.

Mimi Kalinda

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