An early warning device to predict asthma attacks was the winning invention at the Technology Innovation Agency (TIA) Inventor’s Garage at the SA Innovation Summit.
The Asthma Grid was the invention of PhD student Moses Kebalepile, who walked away with R25 000 cash, incubation support from Standard Bank and an iPad.
“I was surprised to win,” he says. “There were so many good projects showcased at the TIA Inventors Garage; it just goes to show the incredible potential and talent that we as South Africans have. I think the work that we do locally is as good as what comes from the West, if not more inspired. The ecosystem for technological entrepreneurs is right; with platforms and opportunities like this we have a chance to positively impact the economy.”
Kebalepile plans to further his research and explore other designs for the Asthma Grid with the prize money he has won.
Christo Rossouw came second with RE-LIT, a rechargeable light design that uses a solar panel. Billy Hadlow came third with the FAABulous Stove which burns combustible agricultural material and can also charge a cell phone or power a light.
Adriaan Padt, designer of the Rocket Works, won the Climate Innovation Centre prize of a R100 000 grant for commercialisation support for the best green solution, a high-efficiency biomass fuel stove that reduces harmful emissions and fuel usage by up to 87%. Santa Scheepers came second in the same category with the ZingCo Electrical Vehicle Project, a car battery drawer solution. Both Padt and Scheepers were finalists in the PwC Pitching Den competition for Start Ups.
The Market on the Edge of the Summit attracted families and children to be inspired by the inventions and get involved practically. Schoolchildren built their own solar panels and constructed Lego robots which they programmed to perform basic functions. A 24-hour Hackathon competition at the Summit brought techies together to design software to solve challenges in early childhood development. The winning group, Kanya Msila, Batandwa Baba, Sello Lehong, Samuel Molahloe and Mapaseka Dipale designed a technology solution, NappiDaddi, to empower fathers to be more involved in the life of their young children.
“It’s vital that we inspire the next generation to be innovative from an early age,” says SA Innovation Summit chairperson Dr Audrey Verhaeghe. “The eighth SA Innovation Summit brought all the role players together to invest in brilliant ideas and inspire even more creative thinking. We want to turn all these brilliant ideas into new products for the market that ultimately create employment and elevate the country both socially and economically,” says Verhaeghe.