POSTPONED - Water innovation in SA: Mapping innovation successes and diffusion constraints

Date: 7 April 2020      
Time: 12h30 – 14h00
Venues in Pretoria, Durban and Cape Town Livestream via Vidyo

Dr Alexis Habiyaremye, HSRC/University of Johannesburg

Chair:
Dr Sikhulumile Sinyolo, HSRC

With a yearly average rainfall of only 464 mm, South Africa is a water-stressed country, where increasing demand for water resources is projected to outstrip the supply by the year 2025. Because of its long experience with water scarcity, the country has built a highly active research and innovation capacity in the water sector. As a result, South African scientists have been among the significant contributors to new knowledge creation in the water innovation domain, especially in water treatment technologies. This has led to the development of multiple water-related innovations, including technical solutions addressing difficult access to water in some rural areas, such as the VulAmanz rural water filter for producing safe drink water or the HippoRoller to ease rural water transport.

Other innovations such as the eutectic freeze crystallization hold the promise to deal more efficiently with acid mine drainage. This innovation dynamism has however not been translated into a large-scale uptake of new technologies to avert the looming threat of water shortage. This study takes a close look at the challenges and opportunities in the adoption and diffusion of water-related innovations to meet the growing demand for water resources in the context of a changing climate. Our research findings indicates that financing constraints, technical validation and cost factors are among the main hurdles limiting the ability of innovators to scale up their inventions for commercialisation. Measures to support diffusion strategies are necessary to overcome the multiple diffusion obstacles that many innovators are still confronted with.
 
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The HSRC seminar series is funded by the Department of Science and Innovation (DSI). The views and opinions expressed therein as well as findings and statements of the seminar series do not necessarily represent the views of the DSI. Please also note that this seminar may be recorded and published on the HSRC podcast channel.