More than 50% of South Africa’s agricultural exports move through the Western Cape, with the EU being one of the biggest export destinations. However, the Western Cape currently faces a serious drought due to poor rainfall during the 2016 winter season.


With significant effort being put into the urban and human side of this problem, the efficiency of water use in agriculture still looms large. To help address this particular part of the water challenge, ADVANTAGE AUSTRIA, Technology Innovation Agency (TIA), Silicon Cape and RIIS have partnered in order to run an open innovation challenge. Submissions from entrepreneurs, SMMEs, companies and other interested parties are welcome. The finalists will be invited to take part in an Entrepreneurship Support Programme – which will comprise of the following:


The Entrepreneur Support Programme will culminate in a Business Matchmaking Café, to be held in the Cape Town region in South Africa. The Café is a refreshing take on pitching, moving away from the classical one-sided presentation into a relaxed, conversational setting.

In addition, the following prizes will be available:


  • ANDRITZ Pumps  – The Austrian pump manufacturer has over 165 years of experience in building hydraulic machines and comprehensive process know-how. ANDRITZ Pumps will award two project teams with a cash prize.


  • Von Seidels Attorneys will sponsor (free of charge) a South African provisional patent application, a South African trademark application OR a South African registered design application (depending on the nature of solution) 


  • I Make Foundation will provide Research and Development assistance for a selected finalist with a pre-commercial project


For more information, contact: support@agriwater.org.za; alternatively, please call the RIIS team on +27 12 012 5015

To see the full challenge, download: AgriWater Challenge Brief.