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South Africa: The Innovation Hub Assist a Leading South African Financial Service Provider to Find Innovation Technologies and Partners
Source: Issued by: The Innovation Hub - The Innovation Hub Press Release
Source Date: Wednesday, March 26, 2014
Focus: ICT for MDGs, Internet Governance
Country: South Africa
Created: Mar 26, 2014

A leading South African financial service provider has partnered with The Innovation Hub to launch a new challenge on OpenIX. Previously known as the Open Innovation Solution Exchange, OpenIX is a Web-based platform hosted by The Innovation Hub that aims to connect leading African researchers and technology entrepreneurs with near-term commercial opportunities in industry and government.
The Innovation Hub is Africa's first internationally accredited science and technology park, a subsidiary of the Gauteng Growth and Development Agency (GGDA), established by the Gauteng Department of Economic Development (GDED).
The new challenge owner plans to bundle its risk mitigation service with a product or service from a different industry or sector for the mid to low living standards measure (LSM) market segment. Proposals are invited from prospective channel partners and technology providers with an existing presence in lower-income markets, or the potential to scale rapidly through a partnership with an established and reputable service provider.
The latest challenge is posted anonymously due to the competitive nature of the industry and the disruptive opportunities a solution can offer. Interested parties are encouraged to register and submit their responses online at www.openix.theinnovationhub.com by 1 May 2014.
"Gauteng is home to a competitive financial service sector with globally recognised leaders in innovation. For example, in 2012 FNB was recognised at the BAI-Finacle Global Banking Innovation Awards as the world's Most Innovative Bank of the Year. At the same time new players such as Capitec have introduced a number of innovative products for the mid- to low-LSM segment. There is still, however, a great demand to increase access and reduce costs for clients, across a broader mix of financial services products including risk mitigation. By sourcing solutions for this challenge owner, we aim to grow their business but also impact people's lives in a positive way," said McLean Sibanda, CEO of The Innovation Hub
Since December 2012, OpenIX has successfully run nine challenges on behalf of private and public sector clients. From the challenges posted, more than 80 high quality proposals were sourced and over 30 solutions were shortlisted for further engagement. Ten of these are currently either in negotiations, pilot contracts or at advanced stages of testing with challenge owners across all sectors. Participants include Transnet, Sappi, the City of Tshwane and other prominent South African companies.
Through OpenIX, South Africa is joining other leading regions that are deriving benefits from open collaboration between researchers, inventors, entrepreneurs, industry and government. The organisation's unique context and significant social challenges mean that this platform has to serve socio-economic needs in a novel way. The Innovation Hub has a number of established programmes and mechanisms to support early-stage solutions through incubation and to enable partnerships and the competitiveness of local firms. Potential solution seekers interested in posting a challenge on the platform should contact the OpenIX team at The Innovation Hub by e-mail: openix@theinnovationhub.com or telephone: 012 844 0671.
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