Two South African Cleantech innovators have been honoured at the Global Forum during the 2017 Cleantech Week in San Francisco.
Yolandi Schoeman – the winner of the 2016 South African Global Cleantech Innovation Programme for SMEs (GCIP-SA) – was named in one of two overall runners-up teams and 2016 GCIP-SA runner-up Martin Ackermann was the winner in the Green Buildings category.
Schoeman and Ackermann competed with clean technology innovators and entrepreneurs from India, Malaysia, Morocco, Pakistan and Turkey. Schoeman’s “aWetbox – a wetland in a box” is a nature-based ecologically engineered water-purifying solution, suitable for use in rural communities facing water security challenges, as well as for residential, holiday and corporate developments. It is also available as a do-it-yourself package.
“Being part of the GCIP-SA programme has been an important learning experience in my entrepreneurial career,” Schoeman said.
“Besides the honour of being selected a global runner-up, this acknowledgement also confirms that ecological engineering has been placed on the global map.”
Ackermann said he was delighted with the recognition. “This award is our first step in convincing the world that this is the way all roof tiles should be made. We are extremely excited about the future of our product.” The roof tiles are manufactured from 99% waste materials.
The tiles are 75% lighter than conventional concrete roof tiles but double the strength with less than 0.1% breakage, translating into cost savings of 8% – 15% on total roof installation.
“The achievements of the GCIP-SA participants at the Global Forum illustrates the level and quality of cleantech innovation and entrepreneurship in the country,” said Gerswynn McKuur, National Project Manager of the GCIP in South Africa.