Q&A: Inventor of the Year competition

Q&A: Inventor of the Year competition
Date:26 October 2011 Tags:

1. Q: What is INVENT 2011?

A: Invent 2011 is a ground-breaking initiative encompassing the annual PM Inventors Conference (taking place on 24 November) and a competition aimed at identifying and rewarding South Africa’s Inventor of the Year (deadline is 31 October).

2. Q: What does PM’s Inventor of the Year competition involve?

A: We’re challenging people from all walks of life to submit concepts with the potential to change the world (or at least a small part of it), and improve their own lives at the same time.

3. Q: What are the categories?

A: The five entry 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), and Cutting Edge (open to the general public).

4. Q: What are the prizes?

A: Each category winner, as assessed by a panel of judges, will receive a cash prize of R20 000, and the overall winner will receive an additional R30 000 plus the title “Inventor of the Year”.

5. Q: When is the deadline for entries?

A: Deadline for entries is Monday, 31 October 2011. Thereafter, the judges will shortlist the entries.

6. Q: How do I enter?

A: Download the competition entry form www.popularmechanics.co.za/attachment.php?aa_id=7305

Download the Non-Disclosure Agreement (NDA) at www.popularmechanics.co.za/attachment.php?aa_id=7259

Completed entry forms and NDAs can be e-mailed to nomfundoc@ramsaymedia.co.za

7. Q: What are the rules?

A: Read the rules at www.popularmechanics.co.za/attachment.php?aa_id=7306

8. Q: Is the Inventor of the Year competition limited to South African citizens only?

A: Entrants should be permanent South African residents (not necessarily citizens).

9. Q: If I am shortlisted, will I need to deliver a presentation?

A: No presentations are required. The shortlist (that is, finalists) is for the judges’ use only.

10. Q: If so, in what area will it take place? If not in the Western Cape, will we have to arrange our own transport, etc.?

A: The event takes place in Johannesburg, and the organisers are not responsible for transport and accommodation.

11. Q: If I am a finalist, will my invention be shown at the Inventors Conference, and if so, what are the criteria for selection?

A: We’re looking for genuinely new concepts with potentially marketable and/or useful application. However, we may also choose to display inventions that simply LOOK interesting!

12. Q: How do I go about protecting my idea before making it public in the Inventor of the Year competition?

A: 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. Download the NDA

Please note that the competition is separate from the conference. Your invention will be shown only if it is selected and shown (with your permission) in our “Pitch it to the Panel” segment, or displayed at the venue (again, with your permission).

13. Q: How do I submit my invention to the “Pitch it to the Panel” team?

A: E-mail details to nomfundoc@ramsaymedia.co.za as soon as possible with “Pitch it to the Panel” in the subject line.

14. Q: Where will the winners be honoured?

A: The winners will be honoured on 24 November at a formal event on the evening of the PM Inventors Conference.

15. Q: If I’m a finalist, will I still need to book for the conference and dinner?

A: Although the competition is part of INVENT 2011, it does not form part of the conference, so everyone needs to book and pay for both conference and dinner.

16. Q: What time does the Awards dinner start and finish?

A: The awards dinner starts at 19h30 and finishes about 22h00 pm.