Categories, entry form and rules for the South Africa’s Inventor of the Year competition

Categories, entry form and rules for the South Africa's Inventor of the Year competition
Date:22 July 2011 Tags:, ,

With two highly successful events under our belt, it’s time to expand the annual Popular Mechanics Inventors Conference into something bigger, better and decidedly different. Say hello to Invent 2011, an ambitious and wide-ranging project with two primary aims: to assemble some of the country’s most fertile minds at an inspiring, mind-stretching conference, and to identify South Africa’s “Inventor of the Year”.

In the coming months, we will evaluate entries in two divisions and a single person will be chosen by a panel of judges to win the title of South African Inventor of the Year.


The categories are:
* Stepping Up (high schools)
* Breaking Ground (university students)
* Emerging Genius (previously disadvantaged and minimally resourced entrants)
* Going Green (for inventions in the field of sustainable energy and environmental conservation)
* Cutting Edge.

(The last three categories are open to the general public.)

The rules are logical without being arduous: for example, the invention should be genuinely original, and must have the potential to make money or improve life on Earth. Entrants will also be asked to describe their target market, business plan and related strategies. The winners in each category will be honoured at a formal event on the evening of the PM Inventors Conference, after which we’ll name South Africa’s Inventor of the Year.

What’s your next step?
* Stay up to date with our announcements delivered via our Invent 2011 section on the Web site, our Facebook page, our weekly newsletter, “The Cutting Edge” and other media channels during the coming weeks and months.

* Download the competition entry form, rules and Non-Disclosure Agreement (NDA): see links in red below. Note: If you're visiting this page via PM's Mobi site, click here to access the documents, then download to your mobile phone. Alternatively, visit our Web site via your computer to access and download the documents.

* Completed entry forms and NDAs can be e-mailed to

  • Rocky Dance

    Although the incentive is brilliant ; one has to question why the idea cannot be patented once the idea has been submitted (read the rules!). Understandably the ideas have to be revealed in order to evaluate them; butthere should be some form of protection afforded to the inventor.By not being able to patent any submitted idea, it will stop many inventors from putting forward their inventions

  • Zachrys

    So how do you go about protecting your idea, before making it public in the inventors competition? -If you are “minimally resourced”

    In other words: I want to take part but I am afraid my Idea is easily copied and I will even lose the right to manufacture it… For instance, when somebody else see the advantages, and take out a patent before me?

  • Popular Mechanics SA

    PM’s editor suggests that we sign a Non-Disclosure Agreement (NDA) with you, and take it from there. If we think the concept has potential, we can also put you in touch with someone who could sign a similar agreement and might consider providing venture capital to secure IP rights and take it further. You can download the NDA at

  • Werner

    When is INVENT 2011?

    I’ve searched several times and I can see the dates for the Inventors Conference, but not INVENT 2011 – or is it the same thing?
    Please put the date, times & location somewhere on the homepage?

    Thank you

  • Popular Mechanics SA

    Hi Werner

    Invent 2011 is a ground-breaking initiative encompassing the annual PM Inventors Conference and a competition aimed at identifying South Africa’s Inventor of the Year.

    PM’s 2011 Inventors Conference will be held the Indaba Hotel and Conference Centre in Midrand (Gauteng) on 24 November 2011. Only 100 seats are available for the conference at a cost of R1 000 each. Only 60 seats are available for the conference plus awards dinner at a cost of R1 200 each. These prices are applicable until 31 October. Thereafter, the fee increases to R1 200 for the conference and R1 400 for the conference plus awards dinner. All bookings close on 20 November 2011.’

    To book your spot, go to

    More details on presenters and the programme will be announced through our Web site at