SA inventor up for international prize

2013-09-19 13:01
Alan Flemming shows off the results of his fish farming business with two fish farm managers. (Siemens)

Alan Flemming shows off the results of his fish farming business with two fish farm managers. (Siemens)

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Cape Town - A South Africa innovator has won a finalist place in a global competition to find simple technological solutions to improve the lives of ordinary people.

Alan Flemming's idea of a fish farm is a simple method ensuring food supply through fish farming.

The elegant design of tanks and filters is installed in a 12m shipping container and it produces four tons of fish per annum.

It was selected from more than 800 entries from 90 countries in the Siemens Stiftung's (foundation) "empowering people. Award". As well as technical and environmental criteria, the judges looked at the economic and social potential of the technology innovations.

"The Fish Farm is South African innovation in action. With urbanisation on the increase and unemployment a crisis, it demonstrates globally that amazing solutions to inner-city intensive protein production, new livelihoods which create new sources of wealth, and less reliance on a depleting marine environment are completely possible," said Fleming.


It is also possible to sell the wastewater produced by the farm as fertiliser to local farmers.

His company, The Business Place, is based in the impoverish area of Philippi and energy for the farm can be supplied through solar power.

Other entries include a German-invented BioGas Backpack which allows the wearer to safely transport biogas and ElectroChemical Arsenic Remediation. This US-invented device purifies water with minimal energy required.

"The finalists show how simple technical solutions can dramatically improve living conditions," said Siemens Stiftung managing director Rolf Huber.

Winners of the competition will be announced in Nairobi, Kenya, on 30 October and there is prize money of R1.3m up for grabs.

South Africans are also encouraged to vote for their favourite invention.

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Read more on:    technology  |  environment

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