Innovation challenge seeks solutions to Western Cape water crisis


The Austrian Trade Commission (ATC), the Technology Innovation Agency (TIA), Silicon Cape and RIIS, with other partners, have launched an open innovation challenge looking for agri-water technology innovations in an effort to address the water crisis in South Africa’s Western Cape.

The challenge is inviting submissions from entrepreneurs, universities and other interested parties, with participants to gain access to mentoring and a workshop in business model validation, business pitches and proposals, and market validation, as well as business matchmaking.

Sponsors Von Seidels will be offering IP protection to the top submission, and another sponsor, I Makers Lab, will be offering research and development assistance for the top pre-commercial submission.

The challenge partners believe there is significant opportunity and need to encourage and support agri-water technology locally.

“Even with the much-needed delay of ‘Day Zero’, the water crisis across the Cape will not go away – the development and implementation of innovative water saving technology will be needed both now and into the future, to help prevent us from ever getting into this situation again,” said Davis Cook, chief executive officer (CEO) at RIIS.


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Passionate about the vibrant tech startups scene in Africa, Tom can usually be found sniffing out the continent's most exciting new companies and entrepreneurs, funding rounds and any other developments within the growing ecosystem.

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