Mahlale Innovation Consortium and its partners are calling for South African scholars and university students to submit applications for categories of the design competition; 

  1.  Open Category - for all scholars and students studying in South Africa with an active, registered student number. In this category, the scholars and students are required to submit any service, product that they have implemented to flatten the curve during the COVID-19 pandemic.
  2. Innovation Category - for all University Students in South Africa with an active, registered student number.  In this category, the university students are required to submit any new business idea, invention or innovation that can be used to combat COVID-19 or other health-related threats into the future.
  3. Engineering Category - for all University Students in South Africa with an active, registered student number. In this category, the university students  are required to submit any improvements, innovations or concepts that will reduce the shortage of ventilators in South Africa, the current development of the MIC B-PAP ventilator is destined to be produced locally.

Click here for more information and to submit your application. 

Full description

Design Criteria 

  • Impact - how successful is the product or service? Will this product or service reduce the impact of covid-19 and save more lives?
  • Inventiveness - is it a new use of resources, technology, communication, methods or others?
  • Upscale & novelty - can the product or service grow to reach more users and save more lives? How unique is the concept? Have you seen it before?
  • Feasible - does it make business and economic sense, can it become a self-sustainable venture?
  • Aesthetic appeal - is it eye-catching and marketable? Did the innovator consider other design elements such as surface finishes, colour, texture, form, shape etc. Apart from function?
  • Engineering principles - does the solution conform to sound engineering principles that make it safe to use? Clever use of materials?
  • Ergonomics - does the product fit the autonomy of the users, form fit function?  
  • Manufacturability - can the product and components be manufactured using current materials and technologies preferably local supply? 
  • Hygiene and maintenance - was the issues of hygiene and maintenance addressed, are items easy to clean and to maintain?   
  • Quality - are you satisfied that the best materials, processes were implemented to ensure a good performing product?
  • Environmental impact - does the product or service indicate deliberate actions to ensure a clean environment, recycling, low carbon footprint and zero waste principles?
  • Freedom of expression - does the product or service have a personality to become a South African icon or recognisable features that makes it unique?


  • First Prize -  R25 000.00 gift voucher 
  • Second Prize -  R20 000.00 gift voucher  
  • Third prize - R10 000.00 gift voucher

Closing date