Innovation projects get funding

2017-06-08 06:01
Fund recipients (from left) Musa Mkhize (Insull Energy), Nicky Worthmann (Beedale), Fatima Sarigat (centre manager, Smart Xchange Port Shepstone) and Eljerel Naidoo (Innovate Logistics).PHOTO: supplied

Fund recipients (from left) Musa Mkhize (Insull Energy), Nicky Worthmann (Beedale), Fatima Sarigat (centre manager, Smart Xchange Port Shepstone) and Eljerel Naidoo (Innovate Logistics).PHOTO: supplied

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SMART Xchange Business Incubator hosted a stakeholder breakfast forum in Durban recently.

The highlight of the event was when head of Technology Innovation Agency (TIA): Agriculture, Sibusiso Manana, presented the innovation seed fund recipients with cheques of R500 000 each for the research and development of their pilot innovation projects. Three of the six companies awarded were from the Port Shepstone Smart Xchange Incubator.

The Port Shepstone recipients were Nicky Worthmann for the Smart Bee Hive project, Musa Mkhize and Dr Khan for the EZhealthID project and Eljerel Naidoo for the Innovate Logistics project. The other recipients were Thabiso Tlaila and Jay Pancham for the Telemedicine Clinical Workstation for the rural health facilities project, Scelo Nciki for the Pocket P.A Project and Sandile Khanyile for the Taxi-Q App project.

Fatima Sarigat who is the centre manager for the Port Shepstone branch said these innovations will positively impact on the local economy.

In his presentation, Manana highlighted how information and communication technologies make lives simpler and easier to live and how they positively influence South Africa in becoming a highly competitive country with solid businesses.

“South Africa has to embrace digitisation and innovation to remain competitive and progressive as we find ourselves itself in The Fourth Industrial Revolution. The technology funded through the partnership of TIA and Smartxchange contributes towards innovations and apps that will have a huge impact on the economic and social landscape in South Africa. The innovations are also intended as a catalyst for the digitisation of our economy as we strive to develop and remain abreast of progress internationally,” said Manana.

Smart Xchange has received numerous awards at provincial and national level and is recognised as an organization that is fully committed to the development of SMMEs.

The Seed Fund is part of the basket of offerings that include mentorship, support, development and upskilling of SMMEs.

The organisation expanded its operations with the launch of a satellite branch in Port Shepstone last year and continues on its mission of supporting entrepreneurship, innovation and growth in small businesses.

- Supplied.

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