Three Kenyan innovators and entrepreneurs won Africa’s regional grand prize for developing hardware innovations during a competition held in Nairobi recently.
Bentos fuels, Smart Brooder and Sim Gas beat other competitors from Uganda and Zambia to win 10,000 U.S dollars each and also secure a chance to travel to New York to receive training and additional prize.
“We do this by providing resources and platforms that accelerate the development of impactful solutions and ensure public health and safety within communities globally,” Iana Aranda, the President Engineering for Change said.
Aranda added that the events help entrepreneurs get connected to the experts as well as meeting with other innovators. She reveals that the initiative further aims at helping achieve the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
James Creel, Senior Global Manager, Engineering for Global Development says that the era of developing computers apps has now led to hardware development. He noted that the innovators now require investment capital to enable them develop items given their new way of thinking.
“University students have been leaving college and are jobless yet they have the knowledge to help improve the quality of life of underserved communities around the globe,’ he added.
He said that Engineering for Change mission is to preparing educating and activate the international engineering workforce.
Creel noted that the nine African regional category social entrepreneurs were selected as finalists from over 150 entries worldwide who had submitted designs to the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME) 2018 Innovation Showcase (ISHOW).
“We hope that the innovations have the potential to address some of the most pressing issues faced by humankind,” he adds.
Before ISHOW urgent need for greater support for hardware innovators seeking to enter global markets and make a societal impact. ISHOW is the first global competition to recognize hardware inventors whose designs have a social purpose. Nairobi is the second of three regional judging events.
Bentos Fuels has developed an innovative recycling process using harvested water hyacinth, an invasive plant species, and mixing it with paper sludge and charred waste biomass. This process results in a unique resin, which is used to produce smokeless charcoal briquettes that are efficient, affordable and environmentally friendly.
Smart Brooder, an environmental controller that assists farmers by ensuring the conditions within the chicken brooding space are kept within optimal levels. It reduces reliance on charcoal as a source of heat by using infrared bulbs, which are highly efficient and have minimal impact on the environment.
Sim Gas enables off-grid dairy farmers to store, deliver, and sell the highest possible quantity of milk. Milk is kept cool overnight until it is delivered and sold the next day. This addresses milk spoilage and increases income potential for dairy farmers.
ASME had allocated a Grand Prize of 500,000 dollars in awards, in-kind services, and technical support to help bring their designs to market. Three Grand Prize-winners were already chosen in Bengaluru, India as part of the South Asia competition. Today’s announcement marked Africa’s event while the United States of America (USA) will be held in June in Washington.
The event was organized by the ASME under the program engineering for change to help bring the innovators designs to the market.