Oct 17, 2019 BIH News, Media Release

Botswana Innovation Hub Announces Awardees For The Innovation Fund Second Call For Proposals

Botswana Innovation Hub Announces Awardees For The Innovation Fund Second Call For Proposals

17 October 2019: Gaborone

Botswana Innovation Hub (BIH) is pleased to announce the recipients of the Botswana Innovation Fund (BIF) Second Call for Proposals. BIF is a Ministry of Tertiary Education, Research, Science and Technology initiative intended to promote innovation through provision of early stage funding to innovative projects.

 A total of 324 applications were recorded in the Second Call for Proposals. Following a vigorous adjudication process by a select group of business leaders who offer their time and expertise to score submissions, five projects were selected to receive funding. The projects recognised today at an award ceremony are;

ELGenuin Engineering Technology

The technology solution is a stability monitoring and alert initiative that uses advanced stability monitoring and alert technologies at a mining site. It will monitor the slightest seismic disturbance, ground motion and vibrations on areas developing instabilities. In addition, it will give on-site alerts and insight on critical stability and impending geohazards. The technology allows monitoring movement of miners and equipment on the mining site for aid with location.

Bayon Holdings

The Pollution Free Power Generator is a hybrid solution generating electricity for domestic consumption. It consists of different battery charging system not relying on combustion of fossil fuel. Therefore, it’s a Clean Technology Power Generator Solution.

Mmoloki Makoba from BIUST

The technology is a small-scale integrated gasification power plant using Botswana coal in a more economic and environmentally friendly manner. It is therefore a less harmful process than the conventional power generation process. The plant targets to produce electricity for homes and businesses in areas without access to the national grid.

Mmilili Mapolole from BITRI

The solution is an environmentally friendly “green” technology that extracts copper and nickel from tailings, concentrate and matte and turn them into higher value commercial products such as copper and nickel nanoparticles. It offers a robust and efficient hydrometallurgical method that uses a lixiviant to selectively and sequentially leach the nickel first and copper lastly. Therefore, the technology will resuscitate the copper and nickel mining in Botswana from operational mines, abandoned mines and mine reclamation projects since it has relatively low operational costs. In addition, this technology is applicable to the other metals such platinum group metals (PGMs).

Casper Nyamukondiwa from BIUST

The Client establishes a bug-bio-factory that produces locally reared parasitoid cocoons (‘biopesticide’) for biological control of agricultural pests. The aim is to provide a downloadable software application for the spatio-temporal forecasting of major insect pest outbreaks (BotsBug App). This will sustainably improve production efficiency, yields, household nutrition, reduce cost of production and improve food security.

In line with the BIH mandate, the Second Call for Proposals sought innovative solutions in the sectors of Mining technologies, Clean technologies, Biotechnology (Agriculture and Health Technologies), Information and Communications technologies, Knowledge intensive business services and Indigenous knowledge systems. The recipients are funded up to P2 million per project that is spent on eligible costs only. The funded projects are closely monitored, and grants are withdrawn on project milestone basis.

The Second Call for Proposals received applications from Research Institutes, Academic Organisations, Entrepreneurs, Applications Developers, Indigenous Knowledge Holders, Social Enterprises, Private Sector Companies and Non-governmental Organisations.

Commenting on the announcement, BIH CEO, Mr Alan Boshwaen said, “we took a deliberate decision to open the call to a broader pool of applicants including companies that are not registered with BIH. We are happy to have received an increase in the number of applications (324) indicating a significant level of interest and efforts to innovate by Batswana.  The funded projects are expected to scale up by accessing other funding instruments such as commercial banks and development funding institutions”.

The Botswana Innovation Fund (BIF) is a Ministry of Tertiary Education, Research, Science and Technology initiative, administered by the Botswana Innovation Hub (BIH).