BIH host Inaugural Innovation Funds Awards

08 Nov 2018
Article by : 
KgThata

On the 25th October 2018 Botswana Innovation Fund (BIF) hosted its first inaugural awards ceremony at the Botswana Innovation Hub Science and Technology Park. The Botswana Innovation Fund Awards Ceremony concluded a series of activities of the second instalment of the Innovation Botswana 2018. 

As part of the establishment of BIH, the Government of Botswana made a provision for a Botswana Innovation Fund (BIF) intended to promote innovation through provision of early stage funding to companies or organizations registered with the Botswana Innovation Hub which may subcontract part of the development work to universities and research organizations.

The BIF was launched early 2018 by the Minister of Ministry of Tertiary Education, Research, Science and Technology.  A number of companies responded to the call for applications and the successful proposals were selected based on the most compelling concept, value, and impact as vetted by an independent expert panel of adjudicators. 

The Botswana Innovation Fund (BIF) is a special fund whose purpose is to promote innovation through technology product and business development in the private sector in Botswana. The Fund is administered by the Botswana Innovation Hub (BIH). The fund targets SMME and medium to large enterprises with scalable innovative projects which have potential for commercialization in the short to medium term, (12 – 24 months) in the sectors of Mining Technologies, Clean Technologies, Biotechnology (Agriculture and Health Technologies), Information and Communications Technologies, Knowledge intensive business services, Indigenous Knowledge, that are at the prototype phase or beyond.

The companies awarded the BIF First Call for Proposals grants are as follows:

ECOHUB The solution uses plastic waste to innovatively make flatpack Eco bricks that will build AFFORDABLE HOUSES. Prototype is to be named NalediHOUSE, a house inspired and dedicated to Old Naledi Community”

KEBALEPILE TECHNOLOGIES & INNOVATION a mobile based application that allows the user to make payments before they start their journey to visit Botswana which enhances security, by clearing all vehicles entering Botswana by checking any criminal record etc.

AERONAUTICAL SOLUTIONS The main technologies being exploited in this solution are directly borrowed from the aerospace, electronics and telecommunications engineering disciplines.

PYRO CARBON ENERGY concept is to build a containerized plant that will convert poultry litter into high value products, namely biochar, bio-oil and biogas, while simultaneously providing cost effective, environmentally friendly, and safe waste disposal

SMARTCOM a mobile application that communicates with a micro-controller equipped with wireless control functionality that is integrated to the current smart prepaid electricity meter. 

INTELLIGENT TRAFFIC MANAGEMENT SYSTEM project is about developing traffic lights control system that mimic police officers in a way that it controls traffic.

MOTHEO TECHNOLOGY Technology’s solar-powered electric generator would adopt the latest and state-of-the-art solar PV and battery technologies where higher power output capacities would be realised at smaller physical sizes.

When giving closing the Awards night Botswana Innovation Hub Chairperson thanked His Honor the Vice President for taking time off his busy schedule to grace the Botswana Innovation Fund awards. This gesture is very much appreciated here at the Innovation Hub. We continue your honour to work hard as stakeholders to ensure that His Excellency’s road map especially the facilitation of commercialization of local products and development of local Intellectual Property are realized.”, she went on to extend her sincere gratitude to the Minister of Tertiary Education, Research, Science and Technology, for his continued support and guidance to BIH. “We appreciate your presence here honourable minister.”

Furthermore, I thank all our stakeholders, community of innovators, partners and well-wishers for making time to participate in these awards and to bear witness to an occasion which marks the announcement of the first of our grantees for the Botswana Innovation Fund.

To the Botswana Innovation Fund Awardees, I congratulate you and commend you highly for your efforts which finally paid off. I need to remind you that this means the beginning of hard work. As you know, you need to do with the limited resources in order to progress your innovations to the next stage.