The SAB Foundation Innovation Awards, launched in 2011 to ignite a culture of entrepreneurship in South Africa, is calling for 2012 entries. The closing date for entries is Friday 20 July 2012.
The awards are for some of the country's most innovative products and processes, with a first place grant of R1-million and two runner-up grants of R500 000 each. In addition, several seed grants are awarded to deserving innovations and a separate category for entries from women, youth, people with disabilities and people living in rural areas.
Grants include funding for the upscaling and commercialisation of the innovative solution, a process supported by the Foundation over a period of two years or longer, as needed. The size of the grants is designed to allow for substantive progress to be made by the winners.
"Developing entrepreneurship is the key to job creation in South Africa. If we are able to combine entrepreneurship with the spirit of innovation, I believe that we have an opportunity to take our job creation expectations to another level. This is also aligned to what our country sorely needs," says Cyril Ramaphosa, chairperson SAB Foundation.
Product innovations cover goods and services which can be divided into new or improved. A new product may use advanced technology and knowledge or a combination of these. An improved product already exists and its performance has increased significantly.
Process innovations involve adapting and creatively improving ways of delivering a product or service, this could come from changes in knowledge, perception and understanding.
The open competition puts innovator applicants and their innovation through a rigorous, phased adjudication process. In the end, investments are made in those innovations that are innovative, scalable and can be commercialised. Innovated solutions entered must have progressed past an idea and be at proof-of-concept stage.
How to enter
Entries for the Innovation Awards 2012 are welcomed from (but not limited to) individual innovators, entrepreneurs, NGOs, corporate foundations, CSI professionals, consulting firms and university departments. Entries must be directed to , delivered to SAB Central Office, 65 Park Lane, Sandton c/o Mariska Henning or couriered to SAB Foundation, 65 Park Lane, Sandton, 2146 c/o Mariska Henning.