Precarious living conditions, access to basic services, and environmental factors such as air pollution, and indoor fuel combustion have been recognised to negatively impact the health of individuals and communities living in low-income settlements.
The National Research Foundation (NRF) in collaboration with the University of Basel has launched an innovation challenge aimed at addressing some of these problems through identifying sustainable innovations that improve health both, directly and indirectly.
Key areas that will be looked at include waste disposal, access to water, sanitation and hygiene; renewable, clean and affordable energy; and affordable building materials with a low environmental impact. Innovations in architecture or planning to reduce unintentional injuries and improve health and safety in low-income housing environments are also applicable.
Successful submissions will have the chance to participate in the Swiss-South African Business Development Program and will receive incubation support and seed funding from TIA .They will gain access to the match and Invest platform and exhibition space at the 10th SA Innovation Summit.
Successful submissions will also get technology validation in an ETH-Zurich test house and access to various networking and showcasing events. Applicable innovations will be showcased at the 2018 World Environmental and Water resources congress.
The challenge partners are: The Technology Innovation Agency (TIA), the Department of Science and Technology (DST), the Embassy of Switzerland in South Africa and the Swiss State Secretariat for Education, Research and Innovation (SERI).