Small Innovation

Small Innovation

You’ve got the idea – we’ve got the know-how. A call for awesome inventions – for all

The focus at Innovus has been, and always will be, on helping inventors and innovators to make the world a better place. Like Cargo Telematics, who are making our roads safer through accelerometer-based self-adjusting strap mount for trucks. Or SharkSafe, which is finding smarter ways to make our oceans safe – both from sharks and for sharks. Or, indeed, SNC Fibers, who developed an entirely new, and completely efficient way to electrospin nanofibres  for biomedical use, making ideas like life-saving nanowire-array biosensors (another Innovus project) even more feasible and far reaching. And let’s not overlook nanosensors, synthetic lung surfactant, Hydrapatch, antimicrobial resin, quad-mode antenna – the list really does go on.

But changing the word isn’t always about giant leaps in science. Sometimes (in fact, I’d argue ‘more often’) it’s the little things that have the fastest, and most lucrative impact. Especially for the many, many ‘men on the street’.

Globally, innovations like the laser keyboard, the fingerprint gun safe, or the smartphone controlled entryway locking system will all make access a little easier. Tile allows you to attach ‘tiles’ to your oft-lost items (car-keys, wallet, TV remote – you get the idea) and an app sets off noises, meaning you can find them when you need them. What about a magnetic belt attachment that the movement-impaired can use to hold their canes when they need both hands free?

What about our furrier companions? There are some amazing little innovations for them, too. The Buster FoodCube is a large, rounded plastic dice that releases small dog biscuits at random times, encouraging pets to play more. The PetTracker attaches to collars and lets you track your pets location in real time. The PetCube allows you to play with, and even record, your fur-children from anywhere in the world. Even ‘pet chipping’ had to start somewhere.

Not only do short-form innovations like these make a difference, they also make a fortune. In fact, one of the most financially successful endeavours of all time to come out of Oxford’s TTO is the app Clumsy Ninja. With the right partner, ideas can be successfully birthed, making the inventor a tidy supplementary income stream (the Clumsy Ninja team, Natural Motion, are now a super-successful app development house). It’s pretty much good for everyone. If you’re still in doubt, spend a few minutes browsing KickStarter.

We all have these little ideas that tickle at the back of our minds; it’s time to let them out. Innovus is perfectly positioned to help inventors make a change (as well as make some change – har har) by bringing those epiphanies out of the brain and into the real world. All the aspects that make us a world class TTO – access to networks, research, viability and market testing and patenting – are what allow us to rapidly develop ideas into companies or license opportunities.

We move the world forward in steps, as well as leaps. If you think you’ve got the ‘next little thing’ – app, toy, gadget, smart-something, or ground-breaking idea - drop us a mail at ideas@sun.ac.za. Make sure you include a summary of the overall idea, market relevance and any prototype images you can.

It could be your face on the cover of Wired or the front page of Buzzfeed or Gizmodo one day, and we can help make that happen.

 

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