Mr Moeketsi Montshitsi: Public Relations Coordinator interacting with attendees at the innovation Bridge 2017
On 15 September, the Vaal University of Technology, accompanied by its Science and Technology Park, attended the Innovation Bridge, South Africa’s technology showcase and “matchmaking” event held at Gallagher Convention Centre in Midrand, Gauteng.
This event is an initiative of the Department of Science and Technology (DST), The National Intellectual Property Management Office (NIPMO) and the Technology Innovation Agency (TIA), aimed at enabling linkages between South African and international innovators, industry and public and private technology developers as well as commercialization funding partners.
The welcome address was given by Mr Phil Mjwara, Director General of the DST.
At the first plenary session, the keynote speaker was Mr Pavlo Phiditis, CEO at Aurik Business Accelerator, on the topic: “Building Successful and Sustainable Innovative Technology Business”
A panel discussion took place afterwards around the topic: “Advancing South Africa’s Inclusive Economic Growth through Innovation: The role of Government, Business and Society.” This session was facilitated by former senior news anchor, Ms Iman Rappetti.
Minister of Science and Technology, Mrs Naledi Pandor gave an address after the first plenary session. Her focus was on the launch of the Innovation Bridge Portal. “Innovation is the life instrument of a thriving economy, that is why it is absolutely vital that we entrench the concept “innovation” in our society and make people more intrigued about using their creative ideas as possible business opportunities”, she said.
This was followed by exploration of the exciting exhibitions of different technologies from public and private institutions that were showcasing, and networking.
The keynote speaker at the second plenary session was Mr Vusi Thembekwayo, well-known South African entrepreneur, who spoke on the topic: “Is there appetite for local innovative solutions?” Following this was a panel discussion on the topic: Matching local needs and solutions: Are local needs being addressed at home? What are inventors looking for in local innovations?”.
VUT and The Science Park showcased their Additive Manufacturing prototypes: The Eros ring, led by internationally acclaimed South African inventor, industrial and product designer, Mr Carl Supra; and the PyroActiv Project which applies green technology to produce activated carbon from carbon sources that are both non-renewable (coal, pitches and tar) and renewable (wood and agricultural waste).