Telkom calling on South African innovators

The National Research Foundation in collaboration with the University of Basel, situated in Switzerland, today launched an innovation challenge aimed at addressing social health issues in South Africa. (image: Wikimedia)

Telkom yesterday announced the Open Innovation “Mega Challenge” to all South African innovators, calling on them to think innovatively about Telkom.

Telkom yesterday announced the Open Innovation “Mega Challenge” to all South African innovators (image: Wikimedia)
Telkom yesterday announced the Open Innovation “Mega Challenge” to all South African innovators (image: Wikimedia)

The company has invited all small and medium business, universities, research institutes, not-for-profit organisations, start-ups, individual inventors and innovators to collaborate with Telkom by responding to the challenge with innovative proposals for technologies and solutions.

Says Telkom’s Managing Executive of Product House, Steve Lewis, “As a leading communication provider and, by extension, a facilitator of the innovative spirit, Telkom has always endeavoured to inculcate innovation into its business operations.”

The challenge set by Telkom is based on a theme of products for the future that will stimulate and drive broadband growth. The focus areas include, but are not limited to, convergence; cloud solutions; vertical segment solutions; machine to machine solutions, smart buildings and smart cities.

Entries are judged on their innovation, feasibility, commercial viability, market appeal, must directly benefit economic growth and social development and also stimulate broadband penetration.

A total of R200 000 worth of cash prizes and Telkom products and services will be awarded for the three best submissions. First prize will be awarded R120 000 and free 40 Mbps DSL service (where available) for 24 months with Uncapped usage and a VDSL modem; second prize will be awarded R50 000 and free 10 Mbps DSL service for 24 months with Uncapped usage and a VDSL modem and third prize will be awarded R30 000 and Free 10 Mbps DSL service for 24 months With Uncapped usage and a VDSL modem.

Closing date for submissions is 30 November and winners will be announced at the end of March 2014.

“This challenge and its theme illustrates Telkom’s forward thinking disposition and points to the rapid changes that characterise the ICT sector,” says Lewis.

“We are keenly aware that in an environment of hyper-competition, competitive advantage is linked to intangible resources that are rare and difficult to imitate. The most valuable of these is the ability to innovate. The Mega Challenge forms part of this corporate imperative,” concluded Lewis.

Staff writer