Can South African techno-entrepreneurs become serious value-add contributors at hitherto unexplored scientific levels? Software and algorithmic development projects currently on the go suggest that they can. And at least one innovation company is on the verge of delivering the proof.
"South African engineering science has the intellectual capacity to transform our industrial and commercial landscape in vital, interesting and rewarding ways," says
The company, owned by the
"We're all about alternative thinking, and multi-directional approaches in innovation and problem solving," says Professor Clarke. "Our goal is to achieve new and powerful made-in-
"The algorithms we engineer and re-engineer are not exactly 'eureka moments' because the technology has been around for a while," says Immelman. "They should rather be seen as innovations that move beneficiation in
As a result, and in terms of the brief,
"Image processing and biometrics, for example, are being seen as the big next things in engineering science," observes Immelman. "They will change the way we live. We need to own the intellectual aspects."
"We have the skills at
As Immelman points out, "It's not as if we are developing revolutionary new products in every case, but we are inventing the South African biometric wheel by creating algorithmic software in
"So far," she adds, "rewriting the maths is the extent of our involvement in the current projects. This entails developing the algorithm, porting it into a computerised language and handing over an executable file to the client. It's a process that can take up to a year to fulfil. On delivery they will integrate it into their software for display through their hardware or in conjunction with it. The software is our deliverable and the client will take intellectual property ownership of it."
"The client does not want any licensed third-party software in his system, so anything
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