The upcoming African Utility Week in Cape Town is looking for 20 SMEs, startups and young innovators in the power and water spaces to showcase their development or invention at the event, which takes place on May 17-19.
Applications are now open, with the selected innovators each receiving a free exhibition stand within the Innovation Hub area for the duration of the 3-day exhibition and the chance to showcase their developments or inventions through live presentations.
The innovators will benefit from the Innovation Hub conference sessions but also from access to industry incumbents, VC funders, project developers, incubators and the more than 6,000 visitors at the African Utility Week.
“Innovation and entrepreneurship form the lifeblood of any economy and the energy and water sectors need this more than ever,” said Evan Schiff, African Utility Week event director.
“And our Innovation Hub will gather the brightest minds and ideas and partner them with the right people to take their projects to the next level and out into the world where they can make a real difference.”
Helmut Hertzog, general manager of the Seda Atlantis Renewable Energy Business Incubator (SAREBI) and a speaker at the upcoming Innovation Hub in Cape Town, said innovation is often associated with development of new hardware and equipment technology.
“Developing new innovation in hardware is extremely expensive. The Johanna Thin film solar is a good example of this. Innovative payment and financing models abound the world over, there is very little space for new innovation here,” he said.
“In my view the key question is why so few South Africans adopt simple technologies like domestic solar water heating to start with? Why do so many rural communities shun clean off grid power solutions? Perhaps the single biggest innovation required is to find ways for the consumer market to actually adopt and desire simple proven technologies.”