Call: Open Innovation Challenge looking for innovative solutions in the area of agricultural water conservation and irrigation
Deadline: 15 March 2018
The Western Cape (WC), a province in South Africa, currently faces a serious drought and has been declared a disaster area. As a result, Day Zero – the day the City of Cape Town runs out of water – is constantly monitored and updated. While this situation obviously has significant humanitarian consequences, a further impact is on industry, in particular, the agricultural industry in the Western Cape. This sector relies heavily on a reliable and sustainable water supply in order to produce good crops and sustain livestock. The WC Agriculture Department estimates a negative socio-economic effect of the drought, with as many as 50,000 seasonal workers being jobless due to the financial strain on farming. More than 50% of SA’s agricultural exports move through the WC, with the European Union (EU) being one of the biggest export destinations. Thus, the impact on industry results not just in commercial implications, but also have very real social consequences for the thousands of people that will be affected by a loss of employment opportunities. Against this background, Advantage Austria, the Technology Innovation Agency, Silicon Cape and RIIS are running an Open Innovation Challenge looking for innovative solutions in the area of agricultural water conservation and irrigation.