7 Biotech, Health And Agro-Processing Projects Receive Cape Craft And Design Institute Funding

Written by Peter Pedroncelli

Seven South African biotech, health, agro-processing, and manufacturing projects have received a funding boost from the Cape Craft and Design Institute (CCDI) through their Design Innovation Seed Fund (DISF) initiative.

The grants, which form part of the Cape Craft and Design Institute’s second round of seed funding, will allow for the innovative projects to be developed for use in a variety of sectors that will benefit from the ideas in development.

In partnership with the Technology Innovation Agency’s (TIA) seed fund and the Western Cape government’s Department of Economic Development, the Cape Craft and Design Institute have selected seven projects that will each receive around $37,000 in seed funding.

The seven successful innovations were chosen by the non-profit organization from an initial group of 57 applications made in October last year.

Those were further reduced to 21 shortlisted candidates before the final seven were selected by an investment committee representing a number of industries.

The biotech, health, agro-processing and manufacturing ideas have been identified as part of modern industries that represent growth sectors for the South African economy.

This is the focus of the second round of funding from the Design Innovation Seed Fund (DISF), with the first round having successfully supported 12 businesses through grants amounting to $560,000, according to EntrepreneurMag.

Cape Craft And Design Institute funding groundbreaking ideas

Erica Elk, executive director of the Cape Craft and Design Institute, explained that the second round of funding would focus on backing South African-developed designs and ideas that would positively impact the four growth industries of agri-processing, health and biotech, and manufacturing.

“After a successful first round, where we learned lots of valuable lessons, we decided that in our second round of funding we didn’t want to just support innovation for its own sake; but rather to align with national and provincial priority sectors that will support economic growth,” Elk said, according to DisruptAfrica.

“This round of funding saw a specific focus on the agri-processing, health and biotech, and the manufacturing sectors. We had some incredible applications, 57 in total, and we narrowed this down through a thorough due diligence process, to a shortlist of those with the best potential,” she added.

The seven ideas that have been selected in the second round of grants include the following, according to the CCDI:

The Optishunt: A medical device that is currently in development by Daemon McClunan which uses innovation to successfully treat glaucoma.

Water soluble liquid oak extracts: An innovative way to manufacture oak extract for use in the manufacture of wine and spirits, developed by Woolf Katz of Oranet.

DNABurn: A cellular molecular biology solution from Karim Dhanani of Signal Bioscience that is envisaged to assist in the fight against non-communicable diseases.

Micropatch: A self-testing kit for HIV that is in development by Incitech, which was founded by Loretta Magagula, Dineo Lioma and two other alumni of the Allan Gray Orbis Foundation.

FlyH2: A hydrogen-powered drone designed by Mark van Wyk and Onno Huyser that releases lab-bred insects to irradicate pests.

Suction dissector:  A medical dissecting tool that is to be used on soft tissue, which has been developed by Disa Vascular.

SmartBlade: Medical advancement in the form of an affordable and effective video laryngoscope via smartphone, developed by Nick Levin and Caroline Corbett.