Today, the Kingdom of the Netherlands officially kicked-off the Open Call for the new #cocreateSA Fund 2015. An investment of half a million Rand will be made in projects that aim to combine Dutch and South African knowledge, that seek innovative solutions to local challenges and involve the sectors of agriculture and food, energy, life sciences and health, logistics and water. More information on the application process and requirements can be found on www.cocreatesa.co.za.
The initiator of the #cocreateSA Fund is Bonnie Horbach, the Consul General of the Kingdom of the Netherlands in Cape Town. She calls on everyone with innovative ideas for local challenges to reach out and find a Dutch counterpart – and vice versa, of course – and to apply by writing a project proposal. A professional jury will consider all applications and make a final decision on who is granted the #cocreateSA Fund awards on 25 June. The main requirement is that the project is based on South African-Dutch collaboration with a long-term outlook. Ms. Horbach explains: “To me, international trade relations can only be successful when we take our time to build genuine and long-term partnerships so that we truly understand the demand and the local challenges. Luckily, I am not alone in this. When we launched the #cocreateSA Fund last year, we were overwhelmed by the number of South African and Dutch projects that were based on exactly that vision.” #cocreateSA is a platform for South African and Dutch counterparts to exchange ideas and innovations and thereby find solutions for a sustainable future.
It was launched by the Netherlands last year during World Design Capital Cape Town 2014. Nine projects in the field of electricity, water management, solar lighting, health services and urban farming were awarded through the first round of #cocreateSA funding. Ms. Horbach: “Last year’s winning projects included incredible, ambitious projects that are now starting to report their first results. A great example is the Ikwhesi Clinic near Khayelitsha where they are working to drastically reduce the waiting times and improve the waiting experience through innovative design-thinking. Things like this encourage me to continue this fund. If we can help kick-start these types of projects, we can truly make a difference and co-create innovations for South Africa.”
Submissions for this year’s #cocreateSA Fund can be made until 1 June 2015. Ms. Horbach continues: “With the new round of funding, I again hope to inspire and spark innovative thinkers and doers from South Africa and the Netherlands to reach out to each other, share ideas, partner up and create the solutions that will work in South Africa.” For more information on the application process and requirements, please visit www.cocreatesa.co.za and keep an eye on the official #cocreateSA Facebook page.