The Minister of Science and Technology, Naledi Pandor, has urged the private sector, government and research institutions to collaborate in elevating the recognition of home-grown technologies to service the country's markets and address local needs.

The Top Technology 100 (TT100) programme, an initiative of the Department of Science and Technology, working together with the Technology Innovation Agency, the National Intellectual Property Management Office and the Southern African Research and Innovation Management Association, is committed to increasing employment, providing hope for budding entrepreneurs in the technology field, and demonstrating that developing countries are capable of competing with the best.

The TT100 Awards is an annual event hosted by the Da Vinci Institute for the Management of Technology and Innovation, under the auspices of the DST. This year the awards ceremony is taking place on the sidelines of a first-of-its-kind event in South Africa, namely, the Innovation Bridge.  This is an event that the DST has organised to bring together innovators, financiers and technology incubators under one roof, a platform that aims to bridge the gap between them.

Speaking at the TT100 Awards ceremony in Pretoria this evening, the Minister said that there seemed a lack appreciation in South Africa for home-grown technological capabilities, even in areas in which the country's offerings were generally recognised as the best in the world.

"We need to implement our policies that favour South African-based technologies and local procurement," the Minister said, adding this was out of concern that both the state and the private sector preferred international over local technology suppliers.

The 2014 TT100 Awards Programme not only showcases the increase in the output and quality of South African technologies, but has also expanded its scope to include organisations from Brazil, Russia, India and China.

Among the recipients was Eskom's Group Executive for Sustainability, Dr Steve Lennon, who received a Lifetime Achievement Award.

Dr Lennon, who also chaired the National Advisory Council on Innovation, is widely recognised locally and internationally for leadership in areas such as technological innovation and R&D, sustainability management and energy, including project development and funding and establishing partnerships and networks, such as investor relationships.

The Minister's Award for Overall Excellence was taken by Accsys (Pty) Ltd in the category of medium enterprises, and PFK Electronics (Pty) Ltdin the large enterprises category. These are awarded to recognise companies that consistently and progressively demonstrate a unique ability to manage core elements of the business, including technology, innovation, people, systems, research and sustainability.

In the Emerging Enterprise category, Olive Expert Services (Pty) Ltd scooped four awards for overall excellence.

"It is encouraging to see how, year-on-year, many of these organisations have been able to find innovative ways of sustaining their businesses, and, in many cases, have been able to export their products and services in fiercely competitive global markets," said the Minister.

Issued by the Department of Science and Technology

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