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Diversified health company Philips Africa has partnered with the Innovation Hub to launch the first South African Innovation Competition. The initiative aims to find local talent and innovation that have the ability to change the living conditions in South Africa and the healthcare sector.
The senior vice president and CEO of Philips Africa, JJ Van Dongen, says everyone has the potential to make a difference:
We believe that everyone has the potential to change the way we live for the better. There are many budding entrepreneurs out there armed with what may turn out to be the next big idea that will go on to make a real difference to the current challenges experienced within the local healthcare sector.
According to Van Dongen, innovation is essential for businesses looking to differentiate themselves from their competition.
“It helps companies establish brand loyalty amongst increasingly empowered consumers, who utilise many more channels to become informed about a company’s products and services, as well as how it stacks up to similar offerings,” he adds.
Those interested in the competition have a chance of winning a research and development budget to the amount of R200 000 for the idea. Entrants will need to submit a document covering the challenge being addressed, what the technological solution is, and the social impact.
The Philips’ Africa Innovation Research study interviewed 1 000 people and found six out of 10 South African’s claim they are innovators. Over half of the interviewees (57%) claim that a lack of money is a barrier to entry with innovation.
Image by Ted Eytan via Flickr