By 9 July 2013 | Categories: news


Once again, a call for inventors and innovators has rung out, this time, for the entrants into the  Inventor’s Garage competition. The Inventor’s Garage is being hosted by the City of Tshwane, in conjunction with the Innovation Summit, the sixth of which is taking place from the 27th to the 29th of August at the Industrial Development Corporation in Sandton.

Aspiring innovators can enter by uploading a photo of their invention, discovery, design, creation, model, or prototype, along with a 150-word description to the Innovation Summit’s website. The entry will then be considered by the competition judges, while the ten best competition entries will be displayed in the Sparklab exhibition area during the three days of the summit.  

Be advised

Entrants have been advised that the judges, which comprise funders and incubators, are seeking entries that “combine originality with practicality and realistic commercial potential.”

The prizes are substantial, with the first prize winner walking away with R25 000, R10 000 for second place and R5 000 for third place. Furthermore, the public can vote for their favourite invention or innovation by logging in with their Facebook account and ‘liking’ a particular entry on the Innovation Summit’s site.  

Votes will take place directly through the Innovation Summit’s website this year and not through likes on Facebook. The innovation with the most votes will receive a prize of R 5 000.

The competition is open to a range of disciplines, including design (industrial, graphic or costume), architecture, science, entrepreneurial activities as well as information technology.

Looking forward and looking back

While the competition is open to individuals as well as teams, it’s particularly aimed at helping individuals struggling to secure funding, or in need of the right partner to take their innovation to the next level.

Additionally, it is intended to offer an opportunity to individuals and teams which are not experienced in the world of funding that would like some assistance and direction from funders or incubators or potential partners attending the SA Innovation Summit.

According to the organisers, this year’s Inventor’s Garage competition is essentially the first of its kind to be staged as part of the SA Innovation Summit and promises “to unveil some fantastic new invention prospects.” It succeeds the SA innovation Summit Lab Competition which was introduced last year.

Last year’s competition winner was Abel Chetty with TUGO, a toy concept that combines play and education features. Second prize went to Bill Hadlow with Khaya Power, featuring power in a bottle, and third prize went to Donald Gray for the Riksa Mini Excavator. The prize for the most votes on Facebook went to Bruce Dube for Youth Village.

To the point

“We’re looking forward to receiving some fantastic entries for the new competition which is a great way of enticing people to have their inventions and ideas judged by people who have a good feel for what it takes for success to be achieved,” commented Dr Audrey Verhaeghe the CEO of the Research Institute for Innovation and Sustainability (RIIS).

This competition joins what has already been a notably strong focus on encouraging innovation this year so far. At the beginning of this month, entrants were similarly encouraged to try their hand in the Step-Up Technology Innovation competition.

Additionally, news has been emerging throughout the year of South Africans on the innovation fast track, with South African based company AgriProtein Technologies securing itself the 2013 Innovation Prize for Africa, a young South African winning herself a spot at the regional finals of the prestigious Google science fair and University of Johannesburg students innovating their way to Russia.


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