African Advanced Manufacturing Innovation Awards honoured

African Advanced Manufacturing Innovation Awards

Several organisations leading South Africa into the Fourth Industrial Revolution were recognized at the African Advanced Manufacturing Innovation Awards, presided over by the DTI  at the Tramways in Port Elizabeth on Wednesday night.

Awards were made to 11 organisations in six categories, according to the organisers, as a means to identify, promote and reward innovation in the advanced manufacturing and composites industry, including 3D printing, robotics, AI and automation.

The top Award Winners were Prof Anton du Plessis of Stellenbosch University (Scholarly Impact in Advanced Manufacturing) Rubber Nano Products ( Industry Advancement in Advanced Manufacturing), Aerosud/Pioneer Plastics (Import Replacement),  Acoustex (Export Proficiency), DataProphet (Innovation) and Alvarita (Best Start-up).

Aircraft component manufacturer Aerosud was acknowledged for working with Pioneer plastics in roto-moulding of aircraft parts to develop the capability which replaced previously imported components.

Rubber Nano products  a chemical technology company that manufactures a novel activator, scooped the award for industry Advancement.  This patented product allows for highly energy efficient rubber article manufacture that is curing faster (with large production benefits) while achieving greater rubber properties.

Advanced Manufacturing Innovation Awards

In the African Advanced Manufacturing Innovation Awards innovation category, Data Prophet  were rewarded for their AI work and “Deep learning” in the manufacturing environment, where an AI has produced astounding results on factory efficiency.

Alvarita claimed the Best Start-up award  for GreenTest,  a compact device that tests nitrate levels in fruit, vegetables, meat, and water, helping people to quantify their daily nitrate intake and make healthier choices.

This device accurately detects dangerous nitrate content in more than 64 different types of Fruit & Vegetable. It also measures  background radiation of a particular object.

Andy Radford of the Mandela Bay Composites Cluster, co-ordinator of the awards, which is an element of the Annual African Advanced Manufacturing and Composites Show, said the awards submissions was an indication of the capability South Africa has to operate and excel in 4ir technologies.

“There was once again a high standard of entry and it is clear that South African companies need not stand back internationally.  What is critical is that we widen the base of companies operating at this global standard and that is what in part the awards aim to do,” Radford said.

Full List of African Advanced Manufacturing Innovation Awards Winners

Category A: Scholarly Impact

Prof Anton du Plessis of the University of Stellenbosch Emmanuel Tetteh of the Durban University of Technology

Category B – Industry Advancement in Advanced Manufacturing

Rubber Nano Products Aerosud Aviation & Adept Airmotive

Category C – Export proficiency in Advanced Manufacturing

Acoustex Shatterprufe

Category D – Award that acknowledges import replacement.

Aerosud Aviation & Pioneer Plastics Not awarded

Category E – Trophy for Displaying Innovation

Data Prophet Rhino Sustainability (Endocube)

Category F – Most promising “start- up or newcomer” awards

Alvarita Tofaa


A. Scholarly impact in advanced manufacturing,

  • Entrants to demonstrate contribution to R&D in AM.
  • Proof of published articles and literature and the impact of this knowledge in industry.
  • Demonstration of contribution pertaining to new and fresh thinking, models and paradigms.

B. Industry advancement in advanced manufacturing,

  • Entrants to demonstrate how they have supported the development and growth of Advanced Manufacturing in South Africa at an industry level (not individual company level, unless that intervention has had an industry-wide impact). This can but is not limited to the development of black-owned suppliers.
  • Estimation of calculation of impact.

C. Export proficiency in AM

  • Entrants including seasoned and new exporters to demonstrate the extent of AM related products and services that are exported.
  • Export Destinations, Export % growth.
  • Demonstrate the keys to their success behind tapping into export markets, the obstacles they have overcome, quality standards attained, Cost, Quality and Delivery considerations and client feedback (where available).

D. Award that acknowledges import replacement.

  • Entrants demonstrate the extent to which they have been successful in localising a product or process which previously had been imported.
  • Describe the localisation effort, obstacles moved and steps taken.
  • Indicate an estimation of the impact of this localisation eg jobs created/sustained, contribution to GDP and black owned supplier development (if applicable).

E. Displaying innovation

  • Entrants demonstrate how they have solved a problem using an innovative solution where the solution can pertain to technology, material used, process, tooling, computing or the application of existing products and services used in an innovative way to solve a specific industry challenge.
  • Describe the problem and how it was solved in an innovative way. How innovation was required to overcome an obstacle/s.
  • This applies to Additive, Subtractive and all manufacturing segments.

F. Most promising “start- up or newcomer” awards.

  • Entrant is an SMME that has been operating for less than 36 months.
  • Entrant describes a business model/product or service that has gained traction in the market or is expected to still find traction.
  • Entrant must show measured progress which may include components such as R&D, testing, certification, commercialisation, partnerships and industry recognition or show a business model which describes the intended objectives and outcomes.
  • Entrant to discuss opportunities, threats, strengths and weaknesses of their own organisation in the context of the Advanced Manufacturing sector. 
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