Finalists announced for R1.3m social innovation award
18 September 2019 | Web Article Number: ME201916368
THE SAB Foundation has selected 17 finalists in its 9th annual Social Innovation Awards 2019 and three finalists in its 4th annual Disability Empowerment Awards. The final winners will be announced at an official awards ceremony on 9 October 2019.
Grants will also be awarded to other deserving innovation finalists. The finalists were selected from over 300 entries this year.
SAB Foundation Innovation Specialist Ntandokazi Nodada said that since the programme was started nine years ago the quality of innovations has been on the rise.
“We are seeing some incredibly talented South Africans, from all walks of life, produce socially informed and transformative products and services that are truly going to help make a change in the lives of those who need it the most, ” said Nodada, adding that finalists tackle issues like environmental sustainability, technology accessibility and disability inclusion.
Two Eastern Cape entries were among the Social Innovation Awards finalists.
Luleka Mkuzo designed the Rural Technology Park, a mobile technology park equipped with a number of laptops to give pupils and teachers of rural communities access to technology, the internet, and basic computer skills.
Professor Jean Greyling and his student Byron Batteson started working on the TANKS Coding App, a free mobile application that makes use of puzzles and image recognition to introduce learners to coding without the use of a computer. Batteson first produced it for his BSc Computer Science Honours project at Nelson Mandela University.
Other than their potential to create positive societal change, the finalist’s innovations were selected according to whether the independent panel of judges believed they were scalable and could be commercialised, as well their potential to create jobs.
The SAB Foundation Social Innovation Awards and Disability Empowerment Awards were established as a means of supporting the growth and development of entrepreneurship in South Africa with a specific focus on servicing the needs of low-income women, the youth, people with disabilities and people living in rural areas.
“The SAB Foundation hopes to encourage individuals to empower themselves as entrepreneurs and in the process assist others with incredible but often simple resources which change the way our lives work,” said Nodada.
Since its launch, the SAB Foundation has invested in over 160 social innovations through a financial commitment of more than R67 million.