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Seeking SA’s top inventor



Popular Mechanics magazine is challenging scientific inventors to submit their ideas on how to change the world and at the same time perhaps win a cash prise for doing so.

South Africa’s most innovative minds will be recognised in a national competition organised by sci-tech magazine Popular Mechanics that will see one person earning the title ‚Inventor of the Year‚ and walking off with a large cash prize. The magazine has challenged inventors from all walks of life to submit concepts with the potential to change the world (or at least a small part of it). The winner will be honoured at a formal awards evening in November.

The categories are:

Stepping Up ‚ open to high school learners

Breaking Ground ‚ targeting university students

Emerging Genius ‚ acknowledging minimally resourced entrants

Going Green ‚ recognising inventions in the field of sustainable energy and environmental conservation

Cutting Edge ‚ open to everyone with a good idea

A panel of experts will determine the winner in each category, from which the overall 2011 Inventor of the Year will be chosen. Each category winner will receive R20 000 in cash and the overall winner will receive an additional R30 000. The competition forms part of INVENT 2011, an ambitious and wide-ranging project that encompasses the third annual Popular Mechanics Inventors Conference.

Says Popular Mechanics editor Alan Duggan: ‚With two highly successful events under our belt, we decided it was time to expand the conference into something bigger, better and decidedly different. South Africans are a very inventive bunch, and it made sense to launch a national competition targeting the country’s most fertile minds. Based on our experience of the past few years, we’re confident of seeing some interesting entries, and probably some surprises.‚

The rules of the competition call for genuinely original inventions and require entrants to motivate their submissions with useful information on potential target markets and business strategies. The closing date for submissions is 30 September. Full details are available at and on Popular Mechanics’ Facebook page.

· The one-day PM Inventors Conference and awards dinner take place at the Indaba Hotel and Conference Centre in Midrand (Gauteng) on 24 November 2011.

· Only 1 000 seats are available for the Inventors Conference at a cost of R1 000 each.

· Only 60 seats are available for the conference plus awards dinner at a cost of R1 200 each.

· These prices are applicable until 31 October. Thereafter, the fee increases to R1 200 for the conference and R1 400 for the conference plus awards dinner.

· All bookings close on 20 November 2011.

· INVENT 2011 is sponsored by Telkom (primary sponsor), the Technology Innovation Agency (TIA) and legal firm Edward Nathan Sonnenbergs (ENS).


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