South Africa will host the Conference of the Parties to the UNFCCC (COP17) from November 28th to December 9th, 2011. As this global event is held in the City of Durban (eThekwini Municipality), the Government of South Africa and Global Environment Facility (GEF) are taking the opportunity to demonstrate South Africa's strong commitment to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.
As part of this effort and in partnership with the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO), GEF and the Government of South Africa are supporting the first ever South Africa Clean Tech Competition.
The National Cleaner Production Centre South Africa (NCPC-SA) and the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) of South Africa with support of other relevant national partners, will organize and conduct a clean energy technology innovation competition for SMEs. The “South Africa Clean Tech Competition” will raise awareness on the potential for environmentally sound technologies (ESTs) in order to change the mindset around innovative clean technology in SA, whilst enhancing opportunities for entrepreneurs and small businesses.
The competition focuses on three categories: Energy Efficiency, Renewable Energy, and Green Buildings. Two tracks of innovations have been set: 1) “breakthrough green innovation” and 2) “innovative adaptation of an existing green idea.” After selecting a category, entrants can select the track they wish to contest in and comply with the rules pertaining to that particular category and track. Dozens of semi-finalists – maximum twenty for each of the two tracks, will receive training and mentoring by industry leaders, as well as participate in networking events.
Five finalists selected for each of the two tracks will have the opportunity to showcase their ideas at COP 17, and participate in a gala event where a winner will be announced in each track on December 8th in Durban. All six finalists will be awarded a package of grants and free business support services provided by private sector partners located in South Africa and overseas.
- 12 October: Close of acceptance of competition entries
- 17 October: Shortlisted entries selected, feedback provided to unsuccessful entries. Mentoring and training period starts.
- 1 November: Clean Economy Network hosted webinar showcasing the competition
- 16 November: Five finalists per track selected. Mentoring and training period for finalists starts.
- 28 November – 4 December: Mentoring, showcase, judging and selection of one winner per category per track
- 8 December: Gala awards dinner and announcement of winners at COP 17
Mentors and Sponsors are still being recruited for the competition.
Contact Kevin Braithwaite, firstname.lastname@example.org
The support for innovative SMEs creates tangible incentives for aspiring entrepreneurs in all fields to contribute to sustainable development. The South Africa Clean Tech Competition is expected to become a legacy project of COP17.
The next competition will be launched at the gala event and may well become an annual event in South Africa with the support of the national counterparts. It is strongly suspected that award winners will be considered by private investment firms for potential capital infusions.
A recording of the recent webinar can be accessed at:http://vimeo.com/31441694
The webinar attracted 144 registrants, of which 70 participated on-line. Participants from the US (40), South Africa (23), but also many other countries. Industries represented included Google, Johnson Controls, Lux Research, Gaia Power, and many more from the Energy, Chemicals and Utility sector.
- Winners of the South Africa competition as highlighted in the NCPC Newsletter
- More information on South Africa’s Cleaner Production Center: http://ncpc.csir.co.za