BIH Fund extends call to non-members

Tlotlo Mbazo - BG Reporter
Friday, 21 December 2018
BIH Fund extends call to non-members

Botswana Innovation Hub (BIH) has opened up the Botswana Innovation Fund (BIF) Second Call for proposals to all innovation companies not registered with BIH. According to Brand and Communications Manager, Kemiso Ben the Second Call for Proposals seeks to attract a broader pool of applicants hence the invitation to non-members.

However, Ben says shortlisted non-member applicants will be taken through the BIH registration process prior to grants being awarded.  The Call for proposals opened this week on December 16 and closes on January 23, 2019. A total of P16 million has been set aside for funding selected projects that will meet the evaluation criteria. The grants awarded shall be up to P2 million per project and will be spent on eligible costs only.

In line with the BIH mandate, the Second Call for Proposals seeks 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 Call places emphasis on facilitation of local Intellectual Property development and registration, Innovative solutions at prototype development, technology transfer, and pre-commercialisation.

The BIF Second Call for Proposals invites applicants from Research Institutes, Academic Organisations, Entrepreneurs, Applications Developers, Indigenous Knowledge Holders, Social Enterprises, Private Sector Companies and Non-governmental Organisations.
Collaborative project proposals with a mix between solution providers and entities that would adopt the solution is highly preferred. The Second Call for Proposals follows the announcement of the First Call for Proposals Grantees in October 2018.

The First Call for Proposals awarded seven companies whose projects were successful based on concept, value and impact as vetted by an independent expert panel of adjudicators. According to Ben, five companies were funded up to P500 000; whilst two of the projects were funded up to P1.5 million. 

Grants allocated will be focused on economic sectors that have been selected as priorities for the Botswana National Development Plan, Vision 2036 or Sustainable Development Goals (SDG’s). BIH CEO Alan Boshwaen said the government is dedicated to expanding opportunities for funding of innovative projects.

“The Innovation Fund is a great framework to promote innovation by giving innovators access to early stage funding,” Boshwaen said.  With the launch of the Second Call for Proposals, BIH hopes to deliver on their commitment to foster commercialisation of innovations and technology transfer and contribute towards Botswana’s competitiveness and economic diversification.  “We expect to see funded projects scaling up sustainably and thereby creating more jobs.” Applicants can access the application form on the BIH e-portal
BIH Members may access the form directly on the BIH e-portal.
The Botswana Innovation Fund (BIF) is a Ministry of Tertiary Education, Research, Science and Technology initiative, administered by the BIH.

Funded companies in First Call
Aeronautical Solutions - The main technologies being exploited in this solution are directly borrowed from the aero­space, electronics and telecommunications engineering disciplines. It is a remote controlled aerial vehicle with the capability of collecting data with cameras that have sensory capability.

Kebalepile Technologies & Innovation - The solution is a mobile based application that allows users to make payments before they visit Botswana. It will allow BURS to collect revenue in a more efficient way. It also enhances security, by clearing all vehicles entering Botswana by checking any criminal record or infringement in collaboration with country of origin in the SADC area.

SmartCom - The solution is a mobile application that communicates with a micro-controller equipped with wireless control functionality that is integrated to the current smart prepaid electricity meters. This will offer users remote access to their prepaid energy meters, anywhere and anytime at the comfort of their mobile devices.

Pyro Carbon Energy - The solution is a containerised plant that will convert poultry litter into high value products, namely; biochar, bio-oil and biogas, while simultaneously providing cost effective, environmentally friendly and safe waste disposal. The products can be readily used as fertiliser equivalent to Nitrogen Phosphorus Potassium (NPK) and biofuel for burners and electricity generators.

Motheo Technologies - Motheo Technologies solar-powered electric generator would adopt the latest and state-of-the-art solar Photo Voltaic (PV) and battery technologies where higher power output capacities would be realised at smaller physical sizes and at lower operating costs.

Intelligent Traffic Management System - A project developing traffic lights control system that mimics police officers to control traffic. This is by allocating green light times at the junction based on traffic volumes; therefore, giving the side that has more cars more green light times and the side that has few cars less green light time, all happening in real time, changing as the traffic flow changes.

EcoHub - The solution uses plastic waste to innovatively make flatpack Eco bricks that will build affordable houses. It is an architect designed, flatpack house that is environmentally friendly and impact driven to address challenges of waste management and sustainable housing.

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