Innovation propels partnerships

NMMU Innovation Office Director Jaci Barnett discusses how we can assist innovators in transforming their ideas into commercial reality in The Herald supplement, Business in the Metro.

Read the article below to learn more:

WANTED – innovators of disruptive technology – something which will give manufacturing in the Eastern Cape and the rest of South Africa a competitive global advantage.

On hand to help innovators transform their ideas into commercial reality is the technical expertise and equipment of Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University (NMMU) and business mentoring and training from Propella, the university’s technology and business incubator based in Humewood, Port Elizabeth.

Propella is a new partnership between the university and the private sector, providing impetus for the development of companies, according to Wayne Oosthuizen of Engeli Enterprise Development, which is managing Propella.

Seed funding has been provided by the Industrial Development Corporation, as well as General Motors, BASF and the university.

“We established Propella to assist with the commercialisation of innovative solutions to manufacturing challenges developed inside and outside the university,” NMMU Innovation Office director Jaci Barnett says.

“Having NMMU as a partner adds a huge amount of value to Propella,” Oosthuizen says.

“It gives innovators and entrepreneurs access to equipment and expertise they would not otherwise be able to afford.

“Through the university they are also linked to research institutions around the world, which ensures that they are on the cutting edge and aren’t repeating something which has already been done.”

Propella is fully equipped to support both small-scale manufacturing and information technology hubs.

The focus is on energy efficiency, renewable energy, advanced manufacturing (including ICT), and supply chain optimisation.

It has a satellite facility at NMMU’s Bird Street Campus in Central, which supports creative arts, textile and fashion entrepreneurs.

Innovators wanting to be part of Propella can visit the website www.thepropella.co.za for more information.

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