Entries for the second annual South African Cleantech SME Accelerator Programme are now open. The Cleantech Programme, which is managed by the National Cleaner Production Centre of South Africa (NCPC-SA) and is a key industrial sustainability programme of the Department of Trade and Industry, was launched in 2011 to identify and provide support and exposure to new innovation clean technologies developed by South African entrepreneurs.
Interested South African Small and Medium Enterprises (SME’s) are being invited enter their clean technology innovations to the Programme by the closing date of Monday, 29 October 2012. Entries are open to either break-through innovations or adaptive and appropriated innovations. Essentially this means that the innovation can either be a brand new technology or product, or it can be a unique adaptation of an existing technology.
The five categories under which entries can be made are:
- Renewable energy, including, solar, wind, geo-thermal, biofuels etc;
- Energy Efficiency, for example industrial process improvements, lighting systems, heating, ventilation and air-conditioning;
- Water, covering technologies that support water management, quality and conservation;
- Waste, where technologies should minimise waste including air emissions, effluent, solid emissions and recycling; and
- Materials, which focuses on innovations that will minimise material usage and maximise product output.
One of the main objectives of the South African SME Cleantech Accelerator Programme is to equip entrepreneurs with critical skills that will enable them to take their innovation to the commercialisation stage, or – if this stage has already been reached – to increase the demand for their innovation. Therefore, the 40 semi-finalists will be invited to attend business coaching workshops in November and early December 2012.
Semi-finalists and finalists will receive business coaching and assistance with issues such as accessing funding, IP registration and business planning. Winners and runners up will receive cash prizes, media exposure and business support services.