Advanced Manufacturing Awards to recognise and inspire SA innovators


Port Elizabeth – Leading lights in the field of advanced technology, including 4IR will be acknowledged at South Africa’s official National Advanced Manufacturing Innovation Awards on November 27.

The National Advanced Manufacturing Innovation Awards is co-hosted by South Africa’s Department of DTI and the national Composites Cluster to showcase South Africa’s capabilities and promote Advanced Manufacturing innovation in industry and research.

According to organisers, all companies, entrepreneurs and researchers operating in the advanced manufacturing field, including engineering, 3D printing, robotics, automation, AI, laser cutting and etching, CNC machining, software, big data, IOT and composites will be eligible for national recognition.

Companies or organisations may make submissions in six categories including: Scholarly impact in advanced manufacturing, Industry advancement in advanced manufacturing, Export proficiency, Contribution to Import replacement, Composites Innovation and Most promising “start- up or newcomer”.

Composites Cluster MD, Andy Radford said up to three nominees per category would receive specific acknowledgment, significant exposure and in identified categories financial support to commercialise and grow promising concepts.

The actual awards function will take place as part of the African Advanced Manufacturing and Composites Show which will include a dynamic, interactive exhibition, conferences and factory tours at the Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium in Port Elizabeth on November 27 and 28.

Radford, said the awards would play a key role in advancing the country’s advanced manufacturing agenda. 

“As we push to consolidate and develop our manufacturing strategy, it is essential that as a collective – government and private sector stakeholders identify, promote and reward innovation in the advanced manufacturing and composites industry. Hence, the Mandela Bay Composite Cluster and the Mandela Bay Development Agency have formed a strategic partnership that will home in on and enhance innovation and sustainability.”

The awards would be made annually at the African Advanced Manufacturing and Composites Show, which would rotate across South Africa’s major manufacturing hubs.

“While manufacturing remains an essential part of South Africa’s economy – contributing around 19% of GDP, our efforts towards Advanced Manufacturing in South Africa are highly fragmented, but we do have significant pockets of excellence,” Radford said. 
“The African Advanced Manufacturing and Composites Show will not only bring all the key role-players and technology partners together towards a common vision, and trade, it would also inspire emerging engineers.”

“Three-dimensional printing, lasers, automation, drone technology and artificial intelligence are exciting tools to encourage a new generation of engineers and scientists, but we need to expose them and industry to these technologies and there is no time to waste,” Radford said.

The show and dazzling awards networking dinner would be accessible to both trade and public visitors.

Radford said the organisers of the Show have a vision and strategy to ensure that the African Advanced Manufacturing and Composites Show attracted global role-players in all areas of Advanced Manufacturing, including Composites and especially African role-players.

MBDA Chief Executive Officer Ashraf Adam says “The MBDA is pleased to provide the support and backing for the Innovation Awards that align with the Agency’s aim of encouraging ground-breaking, green friendly designs that lead to self-sustainability and encourage social change through innovation”.

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