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Innovation Summit to get underway this week

Innovation will come to the fore when the Department of Trade, Industry and Competition (dtic), together with the South African Innovation Summit (SAIS), host a summit this week.

The two-day Innovation Summit, which will get underway on Wednesday, will bring together innovation leaders from different countries, backgrounds, disciplines and world views to create an innovative environment that will prosper the South African economy and have a positive effect on entrepreneurs’ competitive edge.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the summit will be held virtually.

As part of this year’s programme, an Inventors Garage competition will take place, with participants showcasing their creations at the summit.

The competition is a tribute to the spirit of innovation and the work of dedicated inventors, whose pioneering inventions provide answers to some of the biggest challenges of our times.

The Innovation Summit is a major public gathering on the South African calendar and showcases, connects, capacitates, and originates the best start-up talent from Africa to the world.

It has done so for 13 years and made possible deals worth billions for African entrepreneurs.

Dtic Deputy Minister Nomalungelo Gina says the department is excited about hosting the Inventors’ Garage competition. She said the competition will profile inventions of young South Africans, as well as the outputs of the technology incentive programme.

“During the summit, we will increase awareness of innovation and new digital technologies, especially to the existing black industrialists and grassroots innovators through collaboration with different economic actors,” said Gina. 

The dtic will also be launching the Khoebo Innovation Promotion Programme (KIPP) during the Summit 2020.

“We have partnered with the Industrial Development Corporation (IDC) on the KIPP and implementation of the programme throughout the country will happen in line with the rural and township economic revitalisation focus of government.

“Support for grassroots innovators who wish to apply will be provided during the launch,” Gina said.

The KIPP will have two sub-schemes with the Small Medium Enterprise Growth Scheme, looking at enterprises already in existence and are looking to scale-up and penetrate new markets.

The second aspect is the Grassroots Innovation Funding Scheme (GIFS), where the focus will be on grassroots innovators that are at start-up phase or trading in a small scale.

The summit will conclude on 1 October 2020. 

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