Scaling Out for Impact Showcase 2021

A showcase event is being held today to celebrate the success of the Scaling Out for Impact programme. Guests will hear from the 15 partnerships between UK-South African innovators making up the first cohort.

Scaling Out For Impact (SOFI) is a UK-South Africa co-venture between South Africa’s Technology Innovation Agency, the Black Business Council, and Innovate UK, part of UK Research and Innovation. It is delivered through its commissioned partner Liminal through its commitment to the Newton Fund.

The projects focus on three areas: the circular economy, healthcare, and digital access. All have the potential to tackle critical development issues whilst delivering inclusive social, environmental and economic impact in low-income townships and rural communities in South Africa.

Projects featured in the showcase:

Downtown city Johannesburg, South Africa

Challenge Area 1

Circular Economy

Addressing the waste challenges and creating regenerative local economies

Acid Mine Drainage Treatment Plant and Monitoring System – BN Aqua Solutions and Sensor IT have used their joint expertise on water conservation to design and develop a mobile water treatment plant and monitoring system. The system will treat acid mining wastewater to make it drinkable.

Beneficiation of biomaterial waste for high value product production – Plastic pollution is a huge environmental challenge that affects a large number of areas throughout Africa. Iraka Biotech and Envopap have developed a biodegradable, recyclable and energy-saving based material that can be used as an alternative within the paper and packaging industry.

Open forge: fuelling the network of open-source recycling initiatives – An innovation developed by Elvis & Kresse, Big Circle Studios (NPC), and Sky Vantage is building local zero-carbon manufacturing. The team have designed an affordable solar powered micro-forge which uses heat to recycle local waste.

Future matters: community driven transitions to the circular economy through biomaterial explorations – Big Circle Studios, Materiom and Eco Invader Solutions (now named LignOrganic) have developed a community engagement programme that is using collaboration to improve material research, organic waste management, and deliver new skills.

Maximising carbon offset by leveraging spending power in corporate supply chains – a UK-SA team from Water for the Future PBO and Social Value Exchange have developed a product that can help businesses reduce their Scope 3 carbon emissions (i.e. indirect emissions that occur in a company’s value chain). They are working to build capacity in local community organisations by connecting them with corporate resources that can help to create green economy jobs.

SA Waste and Biomass Valorisation (waste to value) – SA Rebuilders, TechforTrade and Bluepile are using 3D printing technology to manufacture products from recycled materials, reducing plastic and bio-waste pollution. Their project is also supporting low-skilled workers in the waste sectors by providing incentivised opportunities.

Feasibility study on scale-out from sustainable agriculture to bloodlesel and community power from used cooking oil (UCO) – IGUGU Clean Tech and Green Fuels Ltd are collaborating on a project to explore the opportunity to produce sustainable biodiesel from two key feedstocks in South Africa. This will help to meet demand and provide socio-economic benefits by boosting local economies.

South Africa Township - Smiling African Man

Challenge Area 2


Strengthening the recovery and resilience of local communities responding to the Covid-19 pandemic and other health challenges

Designing an integrated digital healthcare framework for low income chronic disease patients in South Africa ­– Innovators from RaAzi and Aparito are making healthcare services readily accessible to all by developing an integrated framework that incorporates drone delivery and remote monitoring.

Creating community health capacity in South African township by creating ‘community health hubs’ powered by physical, digital and human assets – South African people with the lowest socio-economic status experience the poorest health outcomes. A project delivered by Nosi Beam, Bronze Labs and Good Boost is creating local ‘community health hubs’ to reduce system burdens and cut through health inequalities.

SMART health: Smart Mobile Africa – Resilient townships for health – Inavya and I-Solar have developed a SMART Health demonstrator to deliver low-cost health promotion services in townships.

IHAWV: infections and hygiene awareness with VR - Poor hygiene in health care facilities is associated with increased risk of infection and death of patients. Indalwenhle Environ, Titan-VR and Hope for the Community have developed a project that uses state-of-the art technology and evidence based psychological interventions to tackle this problem.

On demand, online affordable, tailored chronic care supported service – KGNC and Hope for the Community are boosting home-based health care support services for low income patients with chronic disease conditions. To do this, they have developed a project to provide access to affordable, customised, on-demand and evidence-based healthcare support.

Aerial view of Cape Flats district outside Cape Town, South Africa

Challenge Area 3

Digital Access

Improving human-centred and sustainable access to services through digital technology

4IR Aqua security: accelerating the adoption of smart technologies, monitoring and management systems and water security and sustainability in South Africa – This project, coordinated by ICRD Group Holdings, Hexsor Scientific Limited, Amanzi Technologies, Memranology Limited, and AquAffirm Limited, is helping to implement smart technologies across the South African water sector, and therefore accelerate work towards SDG6.

Together locally – empower small and rural producers to become established entrepreneurs and grow intrinsically the economy of their townships and rural communities – Bluepile, Alice SI Ltd, Sakaza Communications, and IntelliDigest have developed a ‘Together locally’ platform that will use digital platforms to empower rural smallholders and allow them to scale-up their business operations.

High-value sugarcane wax from waste products – A UK-SA collaboration involving Surochem and BlockMark Technologies has developed an innovative high-value sugarcane wax from waste products, providing environmental and socio-economic benefits to South Africa’s sugar industry.

More Information

Contact us to find out more

Scaling Out for Impact is funded by the Department of Science and Innovation in South Africa and the UK Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy through the UK-South Africa Newton Fund.

Please contact the Newton Fund team in South Africa to find out more.