Presented by Department of Science and Innovation

Department of Science and Innovation – Enabling digital growth in South Africa

 ·25 Mar 2024

South Africa’s Department of Science and Innovation (DSI) is focused on helping local businesses reach the next level through digital innovation.

It achieves this through a variety of channels – including the Innovation Bridge portal, an initiative run by the DSI and the Department of Small Business Development (DSBS).

The Innovation Bridge portal is a community that connects investors, innovators, and entrepreneurs through a single portal to encourage the development of projects and businesses that can transform South Africa’s economy.

Digital innovation is a major focus of the DSI, as technology is a critical part of building a thriving economy in 2024.

The DSI has also prioritised growing South Africa’s digital economy, as it believes this is one of the best ways to elevate the country to new heights.

“There is no shortage of remarkable ideas or people,” said the DSI.

“What is needed is the ability to tap into local innovations so that they can be used to open new economies, scale business, drive efficiencies, improve speed to market, reduce cost, and compete internationally.”

The DSI has committed to supporting local entrepreneurs by connecting them with the resources they need to bring their ideas to reality.

Powerful partnerships

The provision of resources and data to local entrepreneurs is executed through the DSI’s partnerships with key organisations, including the South African National Space Agency (SANSA), the National Integrated Cyberinfrastructure System (NICIS), Stone Three, and the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research’s TV White Spaces (CSIR TVWS).

Each partnership offers unique benefits:

  • South African National Space Agency (SANSA) – Enables effective decision-making for environment-influenced entrepreneurs through extensive access to space and earth data.
  • National Integrated Cyberinfrastructure System (NICIS) – Offers supercomputing capabilities that let entrepreneurs and SMEs participate competitively in the global economy.
  • Stone Three – Improves workplace productivity, health, and safety through access to powerful machine learning and IoT systems.
  • CSIR’s TV White Spaces (TVWS) – Delivers long-range, affordable wireless internet to underserved, unserved, and hard-to-reach communities.

Each of these partnerships benefits entrepreneurs who are part of Innovation Bridge differently.

An innovator who wants to build smart agricultural systems would use SANSA data to inform its farming models, CSIR’s TVWS service to keep all equipment connected in rural farming settings, and the supercomputing capabilities of the NICIS to turbocharge its processing of important environmental data.

A drone delivery entrepreneur serving rural communities would then use CSIR’s TVWS service to keep its drones connected to the internet, SANSA’s data to map out the most sensible delivery paths, and Stone Three to ensure its drones’ smart sensors operate seamlessly.

Other sectors where these partnerships will be invaluable include communications, navigation, aviation, weather forecasting, human settlements management, agriculture, energy, security, and much more – you are only limited by your creativity.

Click here to join Innovation Bridge Portal today.

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