Startups Win Business Priority Contest with Technology to Help Arid Regions of Africa
A pitch session of the best tech startups was held as part of the Business Priority’s Innovation Space project at the Roscongress Foundation’s Building Trust Area. Two of the startups, the companies Avtomatika and Health Source, were granted Business Priority status, which means that they have broad opportunities to promote their products and technologies on the Russian and global markets, including African countries.
The projects were evaluated by an expert panel represented by Yury Cherches, a member of the Roscongress Foundation’s Executive Board, Yevgeny Vasilyev, Chairman of the Investment Committee of the NTI Venture Fund, Yury Saprykin, Vice President for Regional and International Development at the Skolkovo Foundation, and Alexander Shatirov, Director of the RK Investment Fund.
“All the companies that we saw today are excellent, fit perfectly into the Forum’s business agenda, and have potential on African markets. Technologies to provide drinking water, insecticides, growth bio-stimulants for plants, and cheap high-speed Internet – all these products are not only in demand, but could truly improve people’s quality of life on the African continent. As a leading socially-oriented development institution, the Roscongress Foundation will provide comprehensive support to innovative projects that have been granted Business Priority status,” Cherches said.
“Business Priority status is a national quality standard for the innovation sector and is granted to advanced projects that have outstanding prospects for development on global markets. At the last pitch session, we see many strong teams. After a difficult discussion, we decided that two companies are worthy of Business Priority status since they offered solutions for key problems facing numerous African countries that suffer from an arid climate – giving them access to clean water and making desert areas habitable,” Marianna Skragan, the director of the Business Priority project, said in comments on the panel’s decision.
The company Health Source has created a decentralized drinking water supply system using its uniquely designed automated equipment. The innovative technology makes it possible to provide high-quality drinking water to the population in places where there is no centralized drinking water supply. In addition, there is no need to use disposable plastic bottles that harm the environment.
The other winner was the company Avtonomika and its Oasis project, which allows for the geoengineering of habitable plots in desert and arid areas.
The other presentations made at the pitch session included projects by RDP.RU, a leading Russian manufacturer of high-performance network equipment for telecom operators and service providers; projects related to biotechnologies in agriculture by AGRATEC BIO and Bionovatik; a project by Intelligent Scanning Systems, a developer of VR-technologies; and the World Wi-Fi project, a global decentralized free Wi-Fi network on private routers.
The Building Trust Area is a unique platform that unites two of the Roscongress Foundation’s projects – the Innovation Space and the Innosocium LAB, which aim to map out the social agenda and build a dialogue between participants in the innovation and social ecosystem. The programme operator is the Innosocium Foundation – the social platform of the Roscongress Foundation.
Gazprom is the general partner and Aksioma is the partner of the Innovation Space at the Russia–Africa Economic Forum.