Sibanye-Stillwater iXS programme: Igniting innovation for the mining industry

29th June 2023

Sibanye-Stillwater iXS programme: Igniting innovation for the mining industry

Applications are now open for the 2023 programme.

Apply now

The Sibanye-Stillwater iXS programme was launched in October 2021 as an innovation investment initiative that aims to create shared value by identifying, incubating, developing and scaling entrepreneurs and innovators working in mining-related ground-breaking ideas.

Facilitated by Savant, the iXS programme has three parts:

The iXS Programme is an incubation programme where we will help build, scale and prepare successful technology and hardware candidates for funding opportunities.

We have various funding streams available for high performing start-ups that graduate from the programme, including Savant’s own Venture Fund and Sibanye-Stillwater iXS.

Sibanye-Stillwater partners with Savant

Driven by its commitment to innovation and mining excellence, Sibanye-Stillwater has chosen to partner with Savant due to its exceptional track record in the African hardware technology start-up space. Alex Fenn, Sibanye-Stillwater's Head of Innovation, explains, "As our primary focus is mining, we recognised the need to collaborate with a partner capable of complementing our expertise and applying a dedicated focus to the programme and its processes. Savant's prominence and track record in this field made them the ideal choice."

Sibanye-Stillwater developed iXS with the intent to close a clear gap in an underserved sector of the innovation ecosystem. Having engaged broadly with South African innovators, Sibanye-Stillwater found that more often than not solutions to mining and related problems often failed for reasons other than the technical suitability; and it was often more predominantly the absence of suitable incubation and development support that caused the failure.

With this in mind, Sibanye-Stillwater set out to define three objectives for the iXS Programme:

Objective 1: To attract and develop non-core expertise to solve mining-related issues with novel entrepreneurial and innovative solutions.

Objective 2: Progress technology development to prototype and proof of concept level by funding the trial and adoption of technology in industry.

Objective 3: To develop South African businesses with mining-related technology and solutions to a commercial level with potential or global application.

Sibanye-Stillwater entrusts the Savant team with the management of the programme and ensuring strong strategic alignment between the company and future start-ups they invest in. "This is essential to ensure the sustainability of the products they develop and produce, aligning with our adoption strategy," adds Alex Fenn.

Previous success stories

Now in its second year, the iXS programme has already incubated numerous start-ups, including Trailblazer Technologies (TBT) and Free Radical Process Design (FRPD). Both TBT and FRPD have been selected for initial investments by Sibanye-Stillwater and are currently collaborating with the company on pilot projects to validate their technologies. This collaboration aims to pave the way for wider implementation within Sibanye-Stillwater's operations, both in South Africa and potentially globally. To learn more about these exciting investments, read Savant’s blog article.

Applications now open

As the only hardware technology incubator in Africa, Savant is uniquely positioned to be able to offer support to the incoming round of inventors and entrepreneurs that will soon enter the programme.

If you have created a mining-related technology or hardware product that is based on science and engineering, then you should apply now!

Apply now

Successful applicants will receive specialised one-on-one coaching, access to a network of partners and practical training by a vast array of mentors.

Apply now