Adams & Adams
, the largest intellectual property firm in the Southern Hemisphere, has sponsored the Innovation Award
for two consecutive years and is a firm supporter of local green innovations.
Darryn Molenaar, co-designer of the Watt Scooter, believes that an inclusive, alternative urban and inner city transportation solution such as the Watt scooter will fill the gap between the ease of walking and the burden of using a motor vehicle.
Alexandra Daisy Ginsberg, a Design Indaba Conference
alumnus as well as one of the judges says, “We were excited to see a locally engineered and designed innovation that can open up the city in new ways. The scooter is a sustainable and practical solution to Cape Town’s congestion where the average speed in the city centre can be 10km/h. The scooter could be the answer to a lot of transportation problems in Africa. The fact that the design makes repair and updating of components accessible and possible shows a generosity in design.”
In congratulating the winner, Mariëtte du Plessis, partner at Adams & Adams says, “South Africa is seeing a steep rise in urbanization, the by-product of which is an increase in pollution and congestion in central business districts (CBDs). As a result, innovative green and affordable urban transport solutions are becoming an attractive alternative to cars and buses. This is a fast growing market with enormous potential for local entrepreneurs."
In addition to the R50 000 prize money, eLabs
also receives a free consultation with Adams & Adams to discuss the protection of their intellectual property rights.
Mikhail Wertheim Aymes, co-founder of eLabs, says, “The award is just the kind of step-up we needed. The publicity and exposure around the award has enabled us to sell-out all our pre-order slots, and we also have a number of meetings lined up with potential investors, exporters, and manufacturers."
“Judging by the reaction of the public, once the Watt fever hits the streets, we will need to safeguard it against imported knock-offs. With help from Adams & Adams we believe we can keep the Watt a uniquely South African innovation.”
For more information on eLabs, visit www.elabsct.co.za