Maritime Youth Innovation Challenge
After an inspiring, exciting and gruelling six-month challenge, innovators Smartipants were awarded first place in the Maritime Youth Innovation Challenge at the prize-giving awards ceremony held this weekend.
This is the fourth Youth Innovation Challenge, the flagship programme of Durban ideas and strategy incubator, Innovate Durban, with the 2018 challenge having a firm focus on the maritime industry.
Celebrating the innovators, a director on Innovate Durban board, Richard Gevers said, “The maritime industry is the heart of our country’s economy. Understanding that, this journey has been inspiring to see our young innovators understanding and stimulating skills and activities around our busy ports.”
The wining team: Smartipants comprising of innovators – Chiemela Onuka; Lindelwa Dlamini; Nonjabulo Gasa; Ntuthuko Msimango and Sandile Goqo. The five strong team focused their idea on port infrastructure enhancement.
Winning themselves a R50,000 grant from top global IT company, Oracle and Innovate Durban; a six-month Acceleration Programme with Innovate Durban; a three-month internship with Transnet, and internship and support with global engineering and infrastructure advisory company, Aurecon. Law firm Adams & Adams will offer free consultations to all three winners, and for the top winner, they are offering free trade mark applications and free registered design application.
Earning second place, the team Load Box made up of Solam Dontsa and Mpumelelo Tembe won a R35,000 grant through the Domino Foundation and Innovate Durban; a six month Acceleration Programme with Innovate Durban, and a three month internship with Transnet. Their challenge touched on the supply chain integration with Transnet.
Third place was tied between Trailblazer and the Sagiya Foundation. The two-man team from Trailblazer focused their challenge on skills-development with shore-side staff in the ports optimising modern-day, technology-driven working environments. Sagiya Foundation’s winning challenge was the idea of a port radio station. They each get a R25,000 grant through Innovate Durban; a three-month internship with Transnet, and six-month Acceleration Programme with Innovate Durban.
All four teams were recognised for their innovations at the CE Transnet Port Terminals awards last month.
Managing Transnet’s innovation portfolio, Willie Coetzee was blown away by the ideas, “The quality of thinking and the proposals presented have been impressive throughout the process. The different concepts all communicated by these guys are fresh and exciting and brings about new thinking in the age-old trade of maritime while addressing pressing problems in the port of Durban.”
DUT Head of Maritime Studies, Leon Govender stated, “This is the only maritime youth challenge that I am aware of in South Africa and it is a strategic asset to the cities and the ports of our country. The maritime industry is pivotal in modern-day existence and it is evolving all the time; and our students are needing to stay bigger all the time – we need to create better green ship technologies. I am pleased to say that DUT is progressive in this field, being one of two universities in South Africa offering maritime courses focusing on seagoing and shore-based livelihoods. Innovate Durban’s maritime challenge is important to our city and I look forward to seeing this challenge grow.”
Johnny Gounden from Oracle encouraged, “Keep current, always be relevant. This is essential to customers and to your company! Be proud of what you have achieved and I encourage you to go and do that and more!”
The themes of the challenges included Infrastructure, Environment, Capacity and Transport & Logistics. The Maritime Youth Innovation Challenge was pre-ambled by a series of workshops to aid the participants to develop solutions to the challenge they had selected. The workshops were led by project partners – for example Oracle offered the participants a two-day java workshop and Aurecon went through a design thinking workshop with the participants.
The various stage winners will be included in Innovate Durban’s Aftercare Programme which consists of mentoring, prototype development, regular brain storming sessions and learning exchanges, trainings and workshops. They also have access to partner organisation programmes and funding opportunities.
Sandile Goqo (Smartipants)
Nonjabulo Gasa (Smartipants) Musgrave
Ntuthuko Msimango (Smartipants) Berea
Lindelwa Dlamini (Smartipants) KwaMashu
Chiemela Onuka (Smartipants) – Umbilo
Solam Dontsa (Solam Dontsa) Westville
Mpumelelo Tembe (Mpumelelo Tembe) Avoca Hills
Fanie Ndlovu (TrailBlazer) Mayville
Reddy Bambi (TrailBlazer) Durban North
Philisiwe Ngamlala (Sagiya Foundation) Mount Frere
Maritime Winners Announced