Presented by Department of Science and Innovation

How Innovation Bridge is helping entrepreneurs build a zero-waste circular economy in South Africa

 ·8 Apr 2024

The Department of Science and Innovation (DSI) has partnered with South Africa’s most innovative companies to build and support a zero-waste circular economy.

As part of this focus on sustainable business practices, it has launched the Innovation Bridge portal – a platform that allows investors, innovators, and entrepreneurs to collaborate on transformative projects and ideas.

The Innovation Bridge Portal is run by the DSI in collaboration with the Department of Small Business Development (DSBS).


The concept of zero-waste involves using innovative technologies and methods to take waste matter and convert it into something new that can be used to live sustainably.

This serves two purposes.

  1. It reduces waste products that would otherwise be inconvenient to get rid of, and possibly harmful to the environment.
  2. It converts these waste products into valuable resources that can be used to benefit communities.

By building a circular economy that is based on the zero-waste concept, South African entrepreneurs and businesses will access an unlimited supply of valuable resources upon which they can grow their organisations.

Fostering a circular economy

The DSI has partnered with a several specialist organisations that have the resources to help entrepreneurs build their businesses and projects using zero-waste concepts:

  • CSIR’s Biorefinery Industry Development Facility (BDIF) – Uses biomass and organic industrial waste to extract business value, and provides research and development for zero waste products in the forestry and agro-processing industries.
  • EPCM Global – Reduces the country’s carbon footprint with CO2 conversion technology.
  • UNISA NanoMagh – Converts Acid Mine Drainage (AMD) into a valuable water resource for irrigation.
  • UNISA P2Power – Recycles plastic into energy at a lower conversion cost.

Each of these organisations is excited to work with South Africa’s most ambitious innovators and entrepreneurs, which is why they have partnered with Innovation Bridge.

“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.”

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