Connect + Solve

In today’s globalised knowledge economy, access to the best ideas, capabilities and technologies has become crucial for organisations around the world. Initially, innovation and technology advancement within various organisations (private & public) has traditionally depended on a small network of individuals and researchers within their network. This has restricted the supply chain to the usual solution providers and subsequently limited the potential for accessing new ideas for addressing persistent challenges or exploiting opportunities to increase efficiency, growth and in essence the level of early-stage entrepreneurial activity in Southern Africa.

Piloted by the ELIDZ Science and Technology Park in 2013, Connect + Solve is a trusted online open innovation platform that enables private and public organisations to solve business needs by accessing a wider and more ‘open’ network of innovative solutions in the Eastern Cape, South Africa and beyond. With Connect + Solve, the innovation process within government departments and private companies is accelerated while creating a channel for innovative small enterprises to break into the supply chain of large organisations.

What we do?

Solve challenges

A number of business needs are identified within the solution seeker’s environment, and structured so as to create a position for specific problems (called challenges). Challenges are posted publicly therefore attracting solution providers from multiple industries outside the traditional network. The solution that best fits the solution seeker’s criteria is selected for deal-making.

Showcase technology

Any unique and innovative idea /concept / product, regardless of its industry, is showcased as technology demonstrators for attracting appropriate external resources and partnerships that enable the rapid development of the innovations.Technology showcased on Connect + Solve is showcased to potential customers, solution seekers or even venture capitalists and potential research partners.

Open Innovation (OI)

Traditionally, businesses develop their technology and products internally, resulting in innovation relying solely on internal resources. OI eradicates these boundaries and allows organisations to share and incorporate resources with partner organisations and other business units. It is a process intended to accelerate innovation through collaboration, and involves organisations becoming less dependent on internal ideas instead working with other organisations to foster innovation.

OI has received much attention in the past decade. Following the original and more recent conceptualisations (Chesbrough,2003a, 2006b; Dahlander and Gann, 2010; West and Bogers, 2014; Chesbrough and Bogers, 2014), open innovation is newly defined as a distributed innovation process based on purposively managed knowledge flows across organisational boundaries, using monetary and non-monetary mechanisms in line with the organisation’s business model.

These flows of knowledge may involve knowledge inflows to the focal organisation (leveraging external knowledge sources through internal processes), knowledge outflows from a focal organization (leveraging internal knowledge through external commercialization processes) or both (coupling external knowledge sources and commercialization activities).

Open Inovation can be outside-in (Inbound) through the publication of challenges or inside-out (Outbound) through scouting for technology. The former is also referred to as market pull and the latter as technology push.

Inbound Open Innovation

Inbound OI involves collaborating with suppliers and customers through integrating any external knowledge gained. Organisations use freely available external knowledge as a source of internal innovations by monitoring the external environment in search for existing solutions. The market for inbound open innovation is characterised by rapid change and driven by technological development. Participants providing the solution are often small or medium sized businesses acting as knowledge brokers or knowledge creators for bigger corporations.

Outbound Open Innovation

Outbound open innovation is often used when businesses seek for external organisations with business models that are suited to commercialise a technology exclusively, or in addition to its internal application. In South Africa, it is often applied when business does not have the ability to realise sufficient revenue in its own market and when technology is a spin-off. Outbound open innovation thus depicts the outward transfer of technology.  It in essence points to actively pursuing external technology exploitation.

Intellectual Property

By submitting a response to a Challenge or a Technology Offer, you acknowledge that the submission does not and will not be deemed to contain any confidential information of any kind whatsoever. ELIDZ STP requires that any submission via this platform, does not contain proprietary, confidential, or enabling information unless your Intellectual Property has been secured appropriately. Please confirm that you have read the Intellectual Property Statement before making any submission.

By submitting a challenge response, you acknowledge that ELIDZ STP reserves the sole and absolute right and discretion to act upon all, some, or none of the responses received for this challenge. ELIDZ STP also may choose to select only specific tasks within a proposal to act upon/reply to. ELIDZ STP has the sole and absolute discretion to determine what actions are to be taken in reply to a submission.

Registered users responding to Challenges or submitting Technology Offers to be considered for publication retain ownership of all intellectual property rights that were held prior to their submission.


Kaylene Bell: +27 43 702 8217