The inaugural Gauteng Innovation Competition was launched on 15 December 2011, and attracted 129 entries across the two themes of mobile and green technology. In each theme, the first place winner won a total prize of R250,000, the second place winner received R150,000 and third place R100,000. Obakeng Matlhoko from Sowertech and Phathwa Senene were named as first place winners of the competition by Gauteng MEC for Economic Development Qedani Mahlangu at an awards ceremony held on 28 March 2012. The top 3 entries in the two themes were as follows:
First place winner: Phatwa Senene
Phatwa Senene won the top prize in the green category for The No.1 Button, a simple device that’s intended to reduce the amount of water wastage in RDP toilets. The No. 1 Button has the potential to save 2,052 litres of water a month in an average household. It can be easily installed on current toilets in less than 1 minute and without having to make any adjustments to the toilet.
Second place winner: OneGreen Engineering
Jan Davel of OneGreen Engineering won second prize for the OneGreen Dry Brayton Cycle, which uses heat generated from waste to produce electricity. It is unique as it uses no water, no gas treatment or scrubbing. The capacity is 0,2 to 2 MW per unit allowing a total plant potential of up to 20 MW.
Third place winner: Gridcars.net
Carel Snyman, director of Gridcars.net won third prize for their Electric Bicycle concept, a peddle assist or pure electric bicycle platform. Working on electricity, these vehicles emit no CO2 and can easily be charged in community solar charging facilities.
First place winner: Sowertech
Sowertech was the overall winner in the mobile theme for their Q-Tool mTraining platform. Q-Tool enhances the ability of civil servants to deliver services to the community. It is installed on the users mobile device/ tablet and/ or personal computer. It is used to train or reinforce a user’s knowledge of any subject which is a requirement for the performance of their duties.
Second place winner: House4Hack
House4Hack’s OpenPowerWatch device won second prize in the mobile category. It is a device that embeds an industrial cellphone (to enable GSM Data) and a GPS chip on a small custom circuit board neatly installed in a secure enclosure. The device can be installed in a mini electricity sub-station to monitor and analyse their performance in real-time, providing an indication of issues that should be addressed to ensure the availability and quality of power supply. The devices are based on open hardware standards, which makes them affordable and easy to assemble.
Third place winner: Mobi.lity
The third prize went to Mobi.lity for their Mobile Advanced Traveller Information System, a mobile platform that integrates different transport agencies’ real-time data (schedules, fares, delays, etc.) into a meaningful and personalized experience for public transport users. This mobile platform delivers personalized, relevant, up to date public transport arrival and departure information through the integration of a feature phone optimised mobi-site, centralized database structure, data bridges to the individual automatic vehicle location systems of each agency service, and the real-time monitoring of schedule adherence of each vehicle.
Sebolai Maite was awarded a one-off bonus prize of R50,000 for fourth place in both the mobile and green themes. His Electricity Mobile Application would provide a tool for users to manage their electricity usage remotely, and create a link to municipalities for retrieving bills, reporting meter readings and purchasing prepaid electricity.