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SA’s 4th Innovation Summit hits Joburg

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Dr Louise van Rhyn will be a speaker at this year's Innovation Summit

The 4th SA Innovation Summit, scheduled from August 30 to September 1 2011 in Sandton, South Africa aims to disclose modern plans for stimulating innovative ideas in South Africa.

This year’s Innovation Summit theme is ‘Innovation Legends – Ideas to Market’.

The Innovation Summit will attract about 54 innovators and innovation specialists in business, government and academia from South Africa and the rest of the African.

The event is hosted by the IDC, a partner in the Innovation Summit with its Support Programme for Industrial Innovation (SPII). The IDC says it was confident this year’s summit would provide “a significant launching ground for many iconic projects”.

A major focus of the 2011 Innovation Summit is the stimulation of local creativity and the transformation of new ideas into commercially-viable, socially-useful products and services.

Among those sharing their experiences of bringing ideas to market will be one of SA’s most well know innovation companies, Sasol.

‘Innovation is at the core of Sasol’s business. As the business has expanded across the globe, this spirit of innovation continues to thrive, which is echoed in the enterprise development arm of Sasol, namely ChemCity.’

Skip Davis, Vice President of open innovation consultants NineSigma will be “Harnessing the wisdom of the crowd while creative strategist Tim Malone will make the argument for organization-wide creative collaboration in a presentation titled ‘The fuzzy front end’.

Industrial heavyweights Sasol ChemCity and Anglo will both be presenting case studies of open innovation in their organisations.

Innovation Lab

The Innovation Lab, new feature will be presided over by creative guru Jan Van Mol, the Belgian–born founder of Ad!dict Creative Lab and a pioneer of open innovation. Van Mol will also be stretching delegates’ brains in lab sessions on breakthrough thinking and idea generation.

Delegates can participate in the SAB foundation competition with R2 million in prize money developing products and services to meet the daily needs faced by women and youth in South Africa.

Participants from the private sector include FNB Innovation Programme Manager Paul Steenkamp, Verimark founder Willie Van Straaten, Brian Steinhobel of the Steinhobel Group and William Gwata, the Zimbabwean scientist, accountant and inventor of a hugely-successful automatic pap-cooker. The CSIR will present case studies of some of South Africa’s most exciting and successful innovations.

Insight into the creation of entrepreneurs will be provided by the dynamic Nigerian-born TV presenter and businesswoman, Moky Makura, author of “The secrets of entrepreneurs”, and Allon Raiz, radio and TV personality and CEO of Raizcorp, dedicated to incubating small businesses in Africa.

This years’ summit will examine the possibilities offered by the latest technology, from social networking to biomimcry to the prospects of quantum computing which will be explained by theoretical physicist Dr Frans Petruccione.

In line with the Innovation Summit’s commitment to indigenous creativity and eco-friendly products, each delegate will receive a bag filled with the fruits of local innovation from Sasol ChemCity as well as exquisite hand-made felt slippers produced by FLOCK, women in the dusty dorp of Petrusville.

Anglo Platinum described its involvement as ‘an ideal opportunity to communicate with innovators and the innovation community’, and to stimulate the development of commercially-viable technology Anglo’s new development fund is offering a R300,000 prize for the most promising new application for platinum group metals.

The Innovation Summit also depends on a number of other committed supporters, namely DBSA, Novixo, Mail & Guardian, SAB Foundation and Lemnis Lighting, one of the 10 top innovation companies in the world according to a recent survey.

The Innovation Summit is jointly owned and organised by Sense2Solve and the Research Institute for Innovation and Sustainability (RIIS). Dr. Audrey Verhaeghe, CEO of RIIS and Itha Taljaard, CEO of Sense2Solve, says this year’s event takes innovation capability building to new heights in South Africa. The Summit offered an open call for papers and the public response was overwhelming. The variety and quality content is unparalleled in South African events.

For more information or to register, visit

Staff Writer

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