The Innovation Hub, Africa’s first fully accredited Science and Technology Park and a full member of the International Association of Science Parks (IASP), has confirmed its partnership with ITNewsAfrica, Africa’s premier provider of ICT news, to co-host Tech Demo Africa 2013.
This high profile annual industry-led conference is scheduled to take place on 21 and 22 May 2013 at The Innovation Hub in Pretoria.
The Innovation Hub is a subsidiary of the Gauteng Growth and Development Agency (GGDA), an agency of the Gauteng Department of Economic Development.
Tech Demo Africa 2013 is an industry platform that offers businesses throughout Africa the opportunity to showcase their products and services. Tech Demo targets key international industry influencers, business leaders, IT vendors, government dignitaries, venture capitalists and developers, as well as local and international media.
As host to the event, The Innovation Hub continues its aggressive expansion in supporting innovation and technological development on the continent, and builds on the launch of ground-breaking initiatives such as the Gauteng Accelerator Programme which is designed to increase entrepreneurial skills in the biosciences sector.
The Innovation Hub also established the Open Innovation Solution Exchange, a web-based platform that connects innovators with solution-seekers to tackle service delivery in government and increase competitiveness in the private sector.
There has been a well publicised surge in technology hubs and districts across Africa, from the Ebene Cyber-City in Mauritius to more recent plans for the Konza Technology City near Nairobi and an ICT City in Rwanda; characterised by significant investment from both public and private partners.
Access to high quality shared infrastructure; the concentration of skills; opportunities for collaboration; unified branding and the attraction of foreign investment are seen as the core benefits underlying the establishment of these tech-focused communities.
In South Africa, The Innovation Hub is having a rapidly growing influence on the local ICT entrepreneurial community through its world class facilities. The Innovation Hub also hosts mLab Southern Africa, the Gauteng Innovation Competition and regular high profile Innov8 networking events.
Speaking on the alliance with ITNewsAfrica to host this year’s Tech Demo Africa event, McLean Sibanda, CEO of The Innovation Hub, said that there is strong alignment between the companies showcasing the strength of relevant technology for the continent.
“The Innovation Hub is looking to grow its role as a leading knowledge-intensive business cluster in Africa by supporting linkages between established technology companies, emerging entrepreneurs, potential customers and funding entities. This objective aligns closely with the goal of Tech Demo Africa in seeking to showcase cutting-edge technology solutions from across the continent,” commented Sibanda.
“Tech Demo Africa is an established platform which will help The Innovation Hub to entrench its value proposition as a mature science and technology park that leverages its relationships with leading researchers and global technology organisations in ICT, green and bioscience sectors to enhance the competitiveness of tenant companies and create tangible linkages and opportunities for emerging entrepreneurs,” Sibanda added.
According to Sibanda, The Innovation Hub is strategically positioned to help manage challenges for companies entering the ICT marketplace. In addition to providing access to market information and advice through its industry mentor partners, the institution also helps budding business mogul address practical issues that limit entrepreneur development such as access to funding.
Abby Wakama, CEO and publisher of ITNewsAfrica, concurs with the executive leadership of The Innovation Hub that startup companies and established ventures share the difficulty of having to constantly differentiate and compete within an ever-changing market.
“This is why we have established an event that secures the attention of local and international markets as Africa’s innovation is profiled. We will link companies with consumers, vendors and suppliers, and demonstrate what Africa has to offer the sector. ICT in Africa has matured and there is ample opportunity to meet the demand within high-growth markets. We are pleased to have The Innovation Hub on board as a strategic partner in this exciting technology showcase initiative,” says Wakama.