The Innovation Fund, which falls under the aegis of the Department of Science and Technology, has supported eight climate change mitigation projects during its 2007/8 financial year, with a combined investment value of R80,8-million.
Innovation Fund acting executive director McLean Sibanda said at the weekend that three of these projects would contribute significantly to protecting the ecosystem, reducing green house gas (GHG) emissions, and improving South Africa’s global competitiveness.
The first of these projects, the Industrial Plant Simulator, sought to reduce the level of GHGs released into the atmosphere by making electricity power stations more efficient.
The second project was the Aircraft Laser Paint Stripping project, which used laser technology to reduce the amount of environmentally harmful chemicals that were used in paint stripping.
The third project, Optimal Energy, was an investment into the development of Joule, South Africa’s first fully battery operated multipurpose vehicle. This would reduce GHG emissions, even when using coal-generated electricity.
“The Innovation Fund remains steadfast in its belief in the inventiveness of South Africans, our ability to invent technology and apply them to solve real life problems,” Sibanda said.
“The Fund’s investment projects are demonstrative of this technological inventiveness which is key in dealing with the global challenge of climate change and sustainability.”
Sibanda said that technological innovation was a pivotal solution, and South Africans had the necessary skills and ability to mitigate the change at a local, and even global level.