May 18 2023
Now in its ninth year, the annual Greenovate Awards programme by Growthpoint Properties and the Green Building Council of South Africa (GBCSA) has becoming a popular platform for showcasing up-and-coming talent and innovations in the built industry, Growthpoint said on Thursday.
Since launching in 2015, the Greenovate Awards have aimed to spark a passion for sustainable development in young students. Initially, the awards only included students of the built environment, then they added an engineering category. This year, for the first time, the Greenovate Awards will include technology solutions for a sustainable built environment.
“There is vast opportunity in the proptech space for the real estate sector, both for unlisted and listed property, innovators and entrepreneurs alike. The possibilities include disrupting a conservative and slow-moving industry, attracting investment, boosting productivity, shifting mindsets to a technology-forward understanding of property, building better future cities, and enhancing tenants’ experience,” Growthpoint’s Head of Sustainability and Utilities, Grahame Cruickshanks said.
GBCSA’s Head of Technical, Georgina Smit, said that by encouraging innovation in the property technology sector, Growthpoint created the potential for improved sustainability, higher occupancy, greater value, better communication, transparency and increased innovation in the real estate sector.
“The Greenovate Awards’ new category is a great way to get noticed and shape a more sustainable future. Technology has a key role in green building to create better more sustainable cities, towns and neighbourhoods,” said Smit.
The challenge for all three categories; property, engineering and prop-tech is to conduct research to propose unique and sustainable solutions to real-life problems, which will then be presented to a judging panel of industry decision-makers.
Those entering the Greenovate Awards will have access to mentorship and collaborative opportunities available in the property industry today, with expert guidance and access to crucial resources.
The top teams in each category will take to the innovation stage at the 2024 GBCSA Convention for an opportunity to present their projects to business leaders and influencers. All winners of the Greenovate Awards will also be treated to tickets to attend the event from the GBCSA, with a travel and accommodation allowance sponsored by Growthpoint.
There is also the R37 000 for the winning team in each category, with runner-ups receiving R18 500, and third place taking home R12 500, all sponsored by Growthpoint.
Cruickshanks said there was an award from the International Finance Corporation (IFC) and linked to EDGE green building certification, an innovation of the IFC, where one winner between the property and engineering stream would receive a laptop and EDGE Expert training with the GBCSA. The top three participants from each stream would also win entry to a nationally recognised GBCSA Accredited Professional (AP) Candidate Course.
Proptech category entries will be accepted from Masters and PHD university students in property studies, construction, quantity surveying or engineering. Post-graduate Technikon students can also enter.
For the first time the competition is extending entries beyond the student community to include small businesses working on technological innovation that are still within the research and development phase.
This year, participating universities include the University of Cape Town, University of the Witwatersrand, University of Pretoria, University of Free State, University of Johannesburg, Stellenbosch University, Northwest University, Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University, and University of KwaZulu-Natal.
All proptech submission summaries must be entered by July 31 2023. Ten finalists will be chosen from the entries and announced on August 31 2023. All finalists will be invited to present their research to an expert panel of judges on November 29 2023 and the winners in each category, will be announced at a gala dinner and prize-giving, “an exclusive event with a reputation for opening doors for young green thinkers”.
Enter Greenovate Proptech 202 at greenovatecompetition.co.za/register