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Innovation Botswana 2018

SHARE   |   Wednesday, 07 November 2018   |   By Ricardo Kanono
Innovation Botswana 2018

Botswana Innovation Hub (BIH) hosted the second instalment of the Innovation Botswana on the 25 October 2018 at the Botswana Innovation Hub Science and Technology Park.

Innovation Botswana showcased national innovations and presented a platform for dialogue on the critical elements that advances progress of the innovation and entrepreneurship agenda. 

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The day was a festival of inspiration, creation and innovation that brought together more than 250 stakeholders from civil society, business and academia, public sector and industry to celebrate innovation through exhibitions, thought leadership presentations, panel discussions and networking. This year’s theme was “Igniting the Innovation Spirit”, seeking to stimulate new thinking and motivate action. A prelude to Innovation Botswana 2018 was an all-day hackathon activity on the 24 October that brought together 65 youthful Batswana developers collaborating in computer coding to provide a solution to a real-life problem statement.

The second instalment of the Innovation Botswana has grown in terms of the number of exhibitors. More than 60 exhibitors showcased their innovations ranging from indigenous based products and unique knowledge-based business services to mobile applications. The programme for the Innovation Botswana 2018 composed a thought leadership talk, presentations and panel discussions on topics including; Creating efficiencies using innovation, Ethics of artificial intelligence and Big Data for Big Benefits. The morning engagement was followed by an exhibition of products and services mainly in the cleantech, ICT services, indigenous knowledge, mining technologies focal areas of BIH.

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BIH LAUNCHES APPFACTORY

During Innovation Botswana 2018, BIH launched an AppFactory (Apprenticeship Factory) in collaboration with Microsoft’s 4Afrika Initiative. The AppFactory equips selected ICT graduates with high-level skills in software development, including secure coding, machine learning, bot framework and data analytics – giving them the critical skills that match today’s digital job opportunities. There are currently 18 AppFactories across the continent, which have graduated 1,400 apprentices, with 85% of these graduates securing employment within three months of graduating. Innovation Botswana 2018 has been made possible through partnerships and collaboration. BIH partnered with Sunday Standard Newspaper, Microsoft, Alpha Direct, Virtual Business Network, BOFINET in preparation for the event. “Innovation Botswana 2018 is a platform to further demonstrate our support to innovative entrepreneurship by providing opportunities to showcase, engage, connect and learn from one another”, said Kemiso Ben, Brand & Communication Manager.

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INAUGURAL BIF AWARDS

The Botswana Innovation Fund Awards Ceremony concluded a series of activities of the second instalment of the Innovation Botswana 2018. 

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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 organisations.

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

1.      ECOHUB

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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”

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2.      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.

3.      AERONAUTICAL SOLUTIONS

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

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4.      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

5.      SMARTCOM

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

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6.      INTELLIGENT TRAFFIC MANAGEMENT SYSTEM

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

7.      MOTHEO TECHNOLOGY

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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.

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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 commercialisation 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.



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