Since early March this year the Grassroots Innovation team has been traveling across the country and engaging with community leaders and schools to present the remarkable opportunities, the programme, an initiative of the Department of Science and Technology (DST), has to offer.

The department’s Technology Localisation Implementation Unit has placed major focus on the Grassroots Innovation Programme as it seeks to unearth innovators with the aim of developing such innovators for commercial readiness.

With this key goal in mind the team has ventured into almost all provinces in the country to inform communities that there is a programme by government to assist potential innovators to further their innovations.

Another key aspect of the programme has been to engage with these communities and to uncover the challenges they face in accessing assistance to develop their innovations or explore their ideas.

The communities were left inspired by the presentations as they heard of the success stories the programme has had with innovators like Nkosana Madi and Sandiswa Qayi’s. This left them with the hope that maybe they too can become Grassroots Innovators.

The Grassroots Innovation team has also been presenting and launching the Innovation Challenge for pupils around the country since April 2018 and has invited approximateky 5000 learners to be a part of the search for this year’s most innovative pupil.

The Innovation Challenge aims to get pupils thinking about innovation and aiming to change their communities with innovative ideas. The aim is for such ideas to lead to either a method to address an issue in their community or to create a business which would have socio-economic benefits, locally and nationally.

The top pupils from the Innovation Challenge will be invited to participate in a national exhibition where they will showcase their ideas to the prospective investors early next year.

At the end of this year the programme aims to have found several innovators across the country and in each province to become torch bearers of inspiration to create a cascade of innovation which will lead to a technology boom within the country in the near future.


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