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SUMMIT: SA Innovation Summit Announces Leading Industry Speakers


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An impressive line-up of speakers for the 6th annual SA Innovation Summit, South Africa’s premier platform in showcasing leading innovation and driving dialogue, has been confirmed as heavyweight industry experts set to drive dialogue and expertise at the much-anticipated summit. This year the summit’s bold and hugely relevant theme – “Innovation goes viral, catch it for growth” – sets the platform for meaningful industry engagement.

The summit takes place from 27 - 29 August 2013 at the Industrial Development Corporation (IDC) in Johannesburg and sees a full and exciting programme of activities and events over the three days.

Commenting on the aim of the summit and driving force behind innovation growth, Dr Audrey Verhaeghe states: “The aim of the summit is to create a platform for innovators to share ideas, success stories, lessons learnt and inspiration, while also networking with their peers. Innovation never stops and what we knew about it 20 years agois vastly different from how we view and practice it today. It is imperative that we come together as innovators to continue igniting the spark of our imagination towards creation and advancement,”

The SA Innovation Summit also presents the ‘Inventor’s Garage Competition’, which invites individuals or groups from any industry to enter their inventions under the theme “Innovation goes viral, catch it for growth”. The 10 best entries will not only be exhibited at the three-day summit, but the first, second and third places will also be receiving prizes at the summit. Voting for entries will be facilitated via the ‘SA Innovation Summit’ Facebook page, allowing a wider pool of ‘adjudicators’ comprising members of the public. More details about this competition areavailable on our website.

The SA Innovation Summit is made possible by the Industrial Development Corporation (IDC), Sasol, Spoor and Fisher, the City of Tshwane, the Mail and Guardian, mLab Southern Africa and Social Factory.

The impressive speaker line-up is sure to whet innovators’ appetites:

Renowned business innovation thought leader, Rowan Gibson, or ‘Mr Innovation’ as the media calls him, is going to be a treat for delegates. Gibson has spent the past two decades teaching some of the world’s largest organisations how to seize new growth opportunities, create new markets and transform entire industries by changing their entire organisational system around the innovation model.

“We are extremely excited to share Rowan with the innovation community through the SA Innovation Summit. He is one of the innovation gurus in the world, who is known for his inspiring and dynamic public speaking that has taken him to some 60 countries around the world in the last four years. We have no doubt that his turn at the podium will have a major impact on the minds and subsequent actions of innovators,” organisers enthused.

Technology futurist and serial entrepreneur, Stafford Masie, needs no introduction as the man credited for establishing Google’s presence in South Africa. Masie will share more than 18 years of expertise in the IT field with delegates.

“Stafford brings a wealth of knowledge to the summit, more significantly his experience in forging global partnerships and developing corporate technology strategy for numerous international territories, including Southern Europe and the Middle East,” said organisers.

Executive Director of the Business Performance Innovation (BPI) Network in Silicon Valley, California, Donovan Neale-May will in turn help delegates to take concepts to commercialisation. He will elaborate on the need for “more applied, market-directed product development” when entrepreneurs, investors and researchers take their technologies to the market.

Financial Directors will gain insight into the implementation of the new R and D income tax incentive and other industry must-knows from Darren Margo, founder of MargoTM Attorneys, Inc. - a specialist IP firm and tax consultancy.

“Margo has enjoyed quite an extraordinary career journey, which he started as a patent attorney, specialising in the drafting and prosecution of patent applications. He has worked for the likes of Deloitte and Touche, Adams and Adams and also acted as an advisor to the National Treasury, the SA Revenue Service (SARS) and the Department of Science and Technology. Delegates will be sitting up and taking note during his presentation,” said organisers.

And finally, author, speaker and strategic advisor, Stefan Lindegaard, will shake things up a bit by coaching delegates on how they can striveto “be competitively unpredictable” through innovation. Lindegaard has written a couple of books on the subject of open innovation and his blog “15inno” is a globally recognised destination on the subject.

“Without YOU, innovation will not move forward. It is important to keep the creative juices flowing and challenging our minds to propel our world forward. The SA Innovation Summit offers YOU an opportunity to truly unlock innovation and discover potential in the most extraordinary ways,” organisers added.

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