UKZN Innovators Interact at Workshop With Cleantech Innovation Programme Representatives General

From left: Mr Gerswynn Mckuur (GCIP), Dr Umeshree Govender (InQubate), Ms Petro de Wet (GCIP), and Mr Paul de Give (GCIP).From left: Mr Gerswynn Mckuur (GCIP), Dr Umeshree Govender (InQubate), Ms Petro de Wet (GCIP), and Mr Paul de Give (GCIP).

Innovative and creative minds got together at a workshop organised by UKZN’s Technology Transfer Office, InQubate, and the Global Cleantech Innovation Programme (GCIP).

GCIP was represented by its South African National Product Manager Mr Gerswynn McKuur and its Global Mentoring and Training Director Mr Paul de Give, while a variety of innovators from the College of Agriculture, Engineering and Science flew the UKZN flag high.

GCIP is a global initiative implemented by the United Nations Industrial Development Organisation to promote clean technology innovation and support small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and start-ups to grow their ideas into viable and sustainable cleantech businesses.

Broadly-speaking, Clean Technology refers to ‘any process, product, or service that reduces negative environmental impacts through significant energy efficiency improvements, the sustainable use of resources, or environmental protection activities’.

GCIP focuses on technology categories that are aligned to urgent national priorities, namely renewable energy, water efficiency, energy efficiency, waste beneficiation and green buildings.

McKuur and de Give gave an overview on the GCIP and engaged with researchers on whether their innovations met the criteria for the programme. In addition, Dr Desmond Seekola, a current GCIP participant and business success story, outlined how the programme helped take his method for providing accurate automated meter reading and billing for water, electricity, and gas emissions to the market.

The GCIP team was very impressed with the calibre of research at UKZN surrounding clean technology and wants to establish a long-term relationship to boost entrepreneurial prowess among science and engineering graduates.   

GCIP is a fully subsidised entrepreneurship accelerator programme that offers extensive training and mentoring, opportunities for showcasing of innovations on local and global stages, and access to an international network of potential sponsors and partners.

Innovators/inventors are encouraged to contact Dr Umeshree Govender (govenderu@ukzn.ac.za) at UKZN InQubate if their innovations are at proof-of-concept up to pre-commercialisation stage and fall within the listed categories that the GCIP supports.

For more information on the GCIP, please visit: www.southafrica.cleantechopen.org. Applications close on 26 April.

Umeshree Govender