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GrowZA concludes innovation partnership with leading South African University


Partnership showcase with CPUT leadership, Industrial Development Corporation and SIyavana Solutions Petrochemicals


Many have argued that innovation is a fuzzy concept, used so often and in so many different contexts that it is now hard to know what we mean when we say innovation.


We are pragmatists first, and so GrowZA defines innovation as the use of evidence-based and collaborative approaches to accelerate social progress as expressed in the SDG's and to find creative solutions to achieve wider goals of social transformation and systemic change, in light of local and global challenges, working in collaboration with other development actors and stakeholders.


Today, non-governmental organisations (NGOs) and other civil society organisations (CSOs) worldwide find themselves having to navigate increasingly uncertain realities, in a context of global environmental, social, political, and economic instability. Managing uncertainty is key to innovating successfully in the social sector, and amidst ongoing transformations and the Covid-19 pandemic, innovation has been increasingly hailed by practitioners, policymakers, and donors as an answer to international development challenges.


In this spirit, we have actively sought our practical partnerships that drive innovation and opportunity.


One such partnership concluded this quarter is with the Cape Peninsula University of Technology’s Adaptronics laboratory. The partnership is a coordinated effort to

1) Forge technology partnerships with community-based SMME's requiring advanced manufacturing research and development support

2) Resource the academic pipeline of students from underserved communities into engineering, technology and innovation fields of study

3) Developing socially relevant curriculum


The work of the partnership is funded by the Technology Innovation Agency fuelled by 3 of the SDG 17 targets namely Technology, Capacity building and Trade (find an outline below).


The partnership is driven by leading academics in mechanical and electrical engineering supported by an advisory committee made up of community stakeholders and industry professionals.


Scaling of the upcycling process of fuel pump systems across Africa through the application of the objectives of SDG 12 is the maiden project initiated by the partnership and sees the team tackle the redesign and manufacture of imported fuel pump components by harnessing local insights, talent and infrastructure.


GrowZA invites industry partners to reach out to grow@growza.co.za to scope what a technology partnership for social impact could look like in their context.


This is how we #GrowZA


SDG 17 Targets for the GrowZA CPUT Technology partnership


1) Technology


Enhance North-South, South-South and triangular regional and international cooperation on and access to science, technology and innovation and enhance knowledge sharing on mutually agreed terms, including through improved coordination among existing mechanisms, in particular at the United Nations level, and through a global technology facilitation mechanism

Promote the development, transfer, dissemination and diffusion of environmentally sound technologies to developing countries on favourable terms, including on concessional and preferential terms, as mutually agreed

Fully operationalize the technology bank and science, technology and innovation capacity-building mechanism for least developed countries by 2017 and enhance the use of enabling technology, in particular information and communications technology


2) Capacity building


Enhance international support for implementing effective and targeted capacity-building in developing countries to support national plans to implement all the sustainable development goals, including through North-South, South-South and triangular cooperation


3) Trade


Promote a universal, rules-based, open, non-discriminatory and equitable multilateral trading system under the World Trade Organization, including through the conclusion of negotiations under its Doha Development Agenda

Significantly increase the exports of developing countries, in particular with a view to doubling the least developed countries’ share of global exports by 2020

Realize timely implementation of duty-free and quota-free market access on a lasting basis for all least developed countries, consistent with World Trade Organization decisions, including by ensuring that preferential rules of origin applicable to imports from least developed countries are transparent and simple, and contribute to facilitating market access


Read up in the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals here