The Technology Innovation Agency (TIA) has partnered with the Royal Academy of Engineering in the UK to implement the Leaders in Innovation Fellowship Programme under the Newton Fund. The primary objective of the programme is to build the capacity of researchers for entrepreneurship and commercialisation of their research. Godfrey Madzivire, a Post-doctoral research fellow in the Environmental and Nano Sciences Research Group in the Chemistry Department applied to the call and was selected to attend the programme.
The award includes a fully funded two-week training programme in the UK for 15 participants, from 16 - 31 March 2015. The programme is aimed at researchers who are in the process of developing a business proposition for their innovation. The select cohort of researchers will benefit from a focussed period of training, access to expert mentors, and opportunities for international networking. In the short term they will develop, with the support of the programme, a commercialisation plan for their innovation. In the long term they will benefit from on-going support from TIA, through its partnership with the Small Enterprise Development Agency (SEDA) and access to an international network of peer innovators and mentors, in taking their commercialisation plan forward.
Dr. Godfrey Madzivire is currently researching treatment methods of acid mine drainage (AMD) which poses a serious environmental challenge in South Africa and abroad. It contains potentially toxic pollutants such as iron, aluminium, manganese, sulphates as well as radioactive elements. The complexity and diversity of AMD composition makes treatment very expensive, and there is no “one-fit-all” treatment option available. Under the supervision of Prof. Leslie Petrik (Group Leader of the Environmental and Nano Sciences Research Group) Godfrey developed a technology to treat AMD using a jet loop reactor. This technology proved that AMD can be treated to produce good quality water for agricultural use. The process will go a long way in achieving zero effluent discharge for coal mines and power stations.