NMMU at inaugural Innovation Bridge
The inaugural Innovation Bridge event took place on 2 and 3 February 2015 at the CSIR International Conference Centre in Pretoria. Hosted and organised by the Department of Science and Technology, the event featured a Technology Matchmaking Showcase to create links between technology developers, such as universities and science council, and investors. The programme included technology exhibitions and demonstrations, policy dailogues and plenary discussions, training sessions and one-on-one meeting opportunities.
The Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University (NMMU) was represented at the event by staff of the Department of Innovation Support & Technology Transfer. The NMMU exhibited the following technologies which are currently at market-ready or near-market-ready stage:
- Microalgae to Energy – cultivation of microalgae for the benefication of coal fines and further processing to energy products.
- Weldcore – a non-destructive sampling to determine the remaining lifespan of plant infrastructure subject to stress.
- Segmented Turbine – a segmented turbine for small-scale applications capable of improved energy yield.
- Advanced Circuit Design – circuit design solutions for detecting and mitigating single event upsets in digital circuits.
- Hot Rock – low-risk and cost-effective system for collection, storage and generation of energy at small-scale.
- SunTestLab – laboratory for the performance testing of photovoltaic modules.
The NMMU also assisted the University of Fort Hare by exhibiting a prototype of their SunWheel Planter.
The involvement of the NMMU received publicity on television and radio. The Microalgae to Energy project was discussed on Morning LIVE by Ms Jaci Barnett (Director of NMMU’s Department of Innovation Support & Technology Transfer). The Sunwheel Planter was discussed on SAfm by Ms Mary-Ann Chetty of the NMMU in support of the Eastern Cape Regional Technology Transfer.
Three exhibition awards and three innovation awards were given out at the event. The NMMU won an innovation award for the Microalgae to Energy project in the category of “Innovation most likely to impact public procurement”. A cash prize of R100 000 will be given to the NMMU.