Drone Tech
Innovation Showcase

The catalyst of innovation

  • Program title: DroneTech Innovation Showcase
  • Project owner: Saldanha Bay Innovation Campus
  • Project term: May – October 2021

2021 saw the inaugural launch of the Innovation Showcase. Innovation showcases are considered catalysts for innovation. An innovation showcase provides entrepreneurs, inventors and innovators with a curated opportunity to unveil, construct, and brainstorm new ideas, strategies and technologies.

Numerous engagements with stakeholders in the drone technology sector revealed a growing interest in the commercial applications of drone technology in the marine and energy sectors. Notably, this included business opportunities in the broader drone industry value chain, including manufacturing, maintenance, and other drone services.


Several distinguished research and development-focused institutions actively support the demand for innovation in drone technology, including the Cape Peninsula University of Technology, Nelson Mandela University, and the University of the Western Cape. Yet, there remains a general lack of public awareness of the initiatives undertaken by the different stakeholders relating to drone technology and thus the opportunity to promote this exciting technology platform.

Through the DroneTech Innovation Showcase, the Saldanha Bay Innovation Campus sought to promote the novel applications of drone technology to discover how it can advance the local marine and energy sectors and bring together the different stakeholders that form part of the drone technology ecosystem. The DroneTech Innovation Showcase was divided into two categories, scale-up businesses and ideating start-ups. As a result, there were four scale-up winners and two ideating start-up winners.


Scale-Up Winners

Ideating Start-Up Winners

1st Place

Delta Scan

Taurus Energy Services

2nd Place


Luminous Marketing and Branding

3rd Place

RBI Drone Tech


4th Place

WiPo Wireless Power


The DroneTech Innovation Showcase was successful in positioning the Innovation Campus as an innovation enabler for the Saldanha Bay Industrial Development Zone (SBIDZ) and Saldanha Bay region through its five key focus areas as follows:

Tech start-up Entrepreneurial Support

  • Eleven start-ups were given training by the Research Institute for Innovation and Sustainability. They received feedback on their pitch decks and pitches and training on developing a pitch canvas and Business Model Canvas.
  • The scale-up businesses were provided with an opportunity to be part of the Tech-Tribe Accelerator program.
  • The four winners looking to scale their businesses have been offered an opportunity by the Department of Trade, Industry and Competition to participate in the 2020 Dubai Expo, where South Africa will feature a pavilion for South African companies to showcase innovative products.
  • The four winners of the scale-up phase will have an opportunity to pitch their respective companies to stakeholders in the marine and energy sectors who have intentions to incorporate drone technology into their operations.
  • Industry experts from the drone technology sector have partnered with the Innovation Campus and the DroneTech Innovation Challenge winners to provide mentorship.

Research, Innovation & Development

  • Eleven start-ups submitted their innovative ideas and solutions relating to drone technology.

Clustering & Collaboration

  • The SBIDZ and the Innovation Campus is now part of a working group that has been formed by the West Coast Business Forum that is investigating the development of a drone manufacturing industry on the West Coast. The working group consists of members from the West Coast Business Forum, Western Cape Government, Wesgro, and other drone ecosystem builders in South Africa. The primary purpose of the working group is to bring the drone technology ecosystem builders and the research and innovation communities together to collaborate and co-create positive change in the West Coast through drone technology.

Capacity Building

  • The Innovation Campus provided an eight-hour training workshop on drone building and piloting to 12 teachers in Saldanha Bay. This was an opportunity to expose the teachers to drones, the applications of drone technology in education, and career opportunities that exist in drone technology. Currently, the Innovation Campus is seeking partners for long-term exposure to skills development for the schools in Saldanha Bay.


  • To shed more light on the legislative framework of South Africa’s drone regulations, the innovation campus hosted an event focused on the South African drone ecosystem and regulations.


The DroneTech Innovation Showcase had an attendance of more than 500 people. Through a series of five events, the Innovation Campus was able to increase the awareness of the applicability of drone technology in the marine and energy sector; connect industry, academia, and the public sector; and ignite the imagination of teachers to the opportunities that lie in Fourth Industrial Revolution technologies. The Saldanha Bay Innovation Campus continues to support startups who were part of the drone tech challenge, the local drone initiatives in Saldanha Bay, and the teachers and learners in Saldanha Bay.


Drone Tech Innovation Showcase

Drone Tech Innovation Showcase

Drone Tech Innovation Showcase The catalyst of innovation Program title: DroneTech Innovation Showcase Project owner:…

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Always Learning,
Always Innovating,
Always Collab’ing Our Future.

connect with us

Always Learning,
Always Innovating,
Always Collab’ing Our Future.

connect with us:

2021 saldanha bay innovation campus