At the sixth SA Innovation Summit, Telkom announced the Open Innovation 'Mega Challenge' to all South African innovators, calling on them to think innovatively about the company.
It has invited all small and medium business, universities, research institutes, not-for-profit organisations, start-ups, individual inventors and innovators to respond to the challenge with innovative proposals for technologies and solutions.
Says Telkom's managing executive of product house, Steve Lewis, "As a leading communication provider and, by extension, a facilitator of the innovative spirit, the company has endeavoured to inculcate innovation into its business operations."
The challenge is based on a theme of products for the future that will stimulate and drive broadband growth. The focus areas include, but are not limited to, convergence; cloud solutions; vertical segment solutions; machine to machine solutions, smart buildings and smart cities.
Entries are judged on their innovation, feasibility, commercial viability, market appeal, must directly benefit economic growth and social development and stimulate broadband penetration.
R200,000 worth of cash prizes and group products and services will be awarded for the three best submissions. Closing date for submissions is 30 November and winners will be announced at the end of March 2014.
Changes in the ICT sector
"This challenge and its theme illustrates the company's forward thinking disposition and points to the rapid changes that characterise the ICT sector. We are keenly aware that in an environment of hyper-competition, competitive advantage is linked to intangible resources that are rare and difficult to imitate. The most valuable of these is the ability to innovate. The Mega Challenge forms part of this corporate imperative," concludes Lewis.
The Innovation Summit, which took place from 27-29 August 2013, is South Africa's premier innovation event of the year bringing together thought leaders and practitioners in the field of innovation to showcase success stories, share lessons learnt, connect with peers, be inspired by those who keep on moving and practice by doing.....innovation.
Its theme was 'Innovation goes viral, catch it for Growth'. Partners íncluded the IDC, Sasol, Eskom, Telkom, SABS, MLab, The City of Tshwane, Mail & Guardian, The Innovation Hub, Spoor & Fisher and the Companies and Intellectual Property Commission.