SA Inventor of the Year Competition 2012

Date:21 June 2012

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(Click on any of the above to download the forms.)

We’re calling for entries from all corners of the country as we prepare for our annual feast of inventive excellence in two categories: Cutting Edge (open to anyone) and Emerging Genius (targeting previously disadvantaged and minimally resourced entrants).

Generous prizes are on offer in each category, and the overall winner will be declared South Africa’s Inventor of the Year for 2012, walking off with a floating trophy plus a large cash prize in recognition of his or her achievement.

As before, the competition forms part of a larger initiative that encompasses an inspiring conference – expect something very different this year – plus a mini-expo of cool technology and the chance to mingle with some of the smartest people you’ll ever meet. Oh, and did we mention that prize money would be generous? We’ll be releasing full details in the near future.

Rules? There are a few, but we’ll do our best to make it as easy as possible. For example, your invention must be your own, original work, and it must be fresh (in other words, don’t submit something that was featured in your local newspaper 20 years ago). It should also serve a genuine purpose: whereas you might believe a combination nose-hair clipper and tea strainer is exactly what the world needs, you’re probably wrong. And finally, keep it real: your rough sketch of a fusion-powered bicycle won’t cut it.

What’s your next move?
Start working on that invention right now – and do your homework. Research it on the Web to make sure your invention isn’t replicating someone else’s idea (you’d be surprised), gather all the relevant information on your target market, and if possible, build a working prototype (there’s nothing quite as reassuring to a judging panel as an invention that clearly works). Then, submit your entry before Friday, 28 September 2012. For more information, download the entry form, rules and Non-Disclosure Agreement (see links in red below) or e-mail Nomfundo Calana at

Completed entry forms and Non-Disclosure Agreements (NDAs) can be e-mailed to, or hand delivered or mailed to:
Popular Mechanics
Address: Uitvlugt
3 Howard Drive
Cape Town

Gauteng-based LaserX staged a spectacular display of animated graphics for the awards ceremony marking the finale of 2011’s Popular Mechanics Inventors Competition. Expect something equally provocative at this year’s event. At last year’s ceremony, Cape Town bioengineer Dr George Vicatos was named Inventor of the Year for his role in the development of a versatile and potentially life-changing facial reconstruction system. Find out more about the Invent 2011 initiative.

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