National Cleantech

National Cleaner Production Centre of South Africa
Entries for the second annual Cleantech SME Accelerator Programme are now open. The Cleantech Programme was launched last year to identify and provide support and exposure to new innovation clean technologies developed by South African entrepreneurs.  It is currently managed by the National Cleaner Production Centre of South Africa (NCPC-SA) – a key industrial sustainability programme of the Department of Trade and Industry (the dti) hosted by the CSIR.

Interested South African Small and Medium Enterprises (SME’s) are being invited enter their clean technology innovations to the Programme by the closing date of Monday, 29 October 2012.  Submissions can be made in one of two tracks, namely break-through innovations; or adaptive and appropriated innovations. 

Essentially this means that the innovation can either be a brand new technology or product, or it can be a unique adaptation of an existing technology.  Each of the two tracks includes five categories under which entries can be made.  These are:

Renewable energy, including, solar, wind, geo-thermal, biofuels etc; 
Energy Efficiency, for example industrial process improvements, lighting systems, heating, ventilation and air-conditioning;
Water, covering technologies that support water management, quality and conservation; 
Waste, where technologies should minimise waste including air emissions, effluent, solid emissions and recycling; and 
Materials, which focuses on innovations that will minimise material usage and maximise product output.

Based on the response of the inaugural 2011 Programme, the NCPC-SA is hoping for to receive in the order of one hundred entries.  All submissions will be adjudicated by a panel representing business, industry, government and the academic/R&D fraternity and a group of no more than 40 semi-finalists will be selected, including a maximum of 20 break-through innovations and 20 adaptive and appropriated innovations.

One of the main objectives of the South African SME Cleantech Accelerator Programme is to  equip entrepreneurs with critical skills that will enable them to take their innovation to the commercialisation stage, or – if this stage has already been reached - to increase the demand for their innovation. Therefore, the 40 semi-finalists will be invited to attend business coaching workshops in November and early December 2012.

The workshop will provide assistance with refining of their applications, helping them to present a sound business case and revised motivation for the respective technologies. Focus will be placed on but not limited to addressing intellectual property agreements, development of a sound business plan and model, advice related to marketing strategies etc. On completion of the coaching, semi-finalists will revise and resubmit their entries. 

A second round of adjudication will take place in late January 2013, from which ten finalists (five from each track) will be selected.  The selected finalists will receive assistance in accessing critical stakeholders and will be supported in preparing their presentation for the final judging.  The adjudication panel will select one winner and one runner-up in each track.  Winners will be announced and showcased at an awards event in February or March 2013.  

The Programme, which is funded by the dti, has made provision for prizes for the winners, runners-up and finalists. The prize purse has been broken down into a cash component as well as key support services needed to progress the submission towards the commercialisation stage. Details of the prizes will be posted on the NCPC-SA website and other new media platforms once finalised.  

Entries and enquiries

Entry forms are available on the NCPC-SA website, at 
The closing date for entries is Monday, 29 October 2012. A breakdown of the technology innovation criteria and classification categories, as well as rules and conditions of entry are outlined on the NCPC-SA website. All enquiries can be directed to:  / Tel (012) 841 3314
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Issue 29


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