BOTSWANA INNOVATION FUND ANNOUNCES INNOVATIVE SOLUTIONS TO COVID-19
In response to the challenges presented by the outbreak of the COVID 19 pandemic, the Botswana Innovation Hub (BIH) launched the Botswana Innovation Fund (BIF) Third Call for Proposals. The Call for Proposals sought innovative solutions that address the COVID 19 pandemic and its associated socio-economic effects.
A total of 395 applications were received in response to the BIF Call for Proposals. Submissions were evaluated based on the proposed solutions’ unique value proposition, social impact, commercial viability, technical viability and the individuals’/teams’ ability and capability to develop and commercialise the solution. Following a rigorous assessment process, five projects were selected to receive funding.
Public Transport Passenger Alert System Created by Corrugated Minds
The use of public transport is considered high risk for COVID 19 transmissions. Corrugated Minds are developing ShareAride; a mobile and web application solution that makes it easy to access public transport, book a seat thereby eliminating long queues at travel times. Commuters are able to make virtual payments for their tickets.
When fully operational, the solution will digitize the public transport system, hence enabling easy contact tracing of commuters. This solution will enable the public transport operators to efficiently manage their operations and provide best service to their clients.
Online Doctor Consultation Application Created by Doctors E-Consult
Online Doctor Consultation is a mobile application, which will be a doctor- patient consulting room on a phone or device. The application will house doctors around the country and patients can book virtual appointments with their preferred doctor. Consultation will be done by way of text or video call through the application.
Online Doctor Consultation will reduce congestion in medical facilities and allow for effective social distancing. Beyond COVID 19, the App will reduce the burden of travelling to access a doctor. Doctors E-Consult takes convenience and confidentially to a whole new level as it is easily accessed within the comfort of one’s home.
Digital Social Welfare System by Spectrum Analytics
The use of manual and paper-based processes created an opportunity for digitizing data to improve turnaround times in registering and delivering food relief packages to households through the COVID-19 Food Relief Programme. Spectrum Analytics is developing a Social Welfare System that provides a dashboard with actionable insights for not just monitoring and evaluation purposing, but for planning, designing and delivering evidence-based interventions on programmes.
Post COVID-19, a similar system can be used for the management of relief programmes by the Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development, at regional and national level.
First-Aid Counselling App by First-Aid Counselling
One of the effects of the extreme social distancing protocols put in place in response to the COVID 19 pandemic is a rise in mental related issues. Our experience in Botswana has shown that there is a need for technologically advanced health and wellness solutions which can operate even during times when social isolation restrictions are in effect. First Aid Counselling is an App that allows users to get professional mental health help within minutes.
Under normal circumstances, access to a counsellor or psychologist can take up to 2 weeks. First Aid Counselling will enable one to receive help from anywhere, anytime, by simply logging into the App. First Aid Counselling is an App that allows users to get professional mental health help within minutes. Under normal circumstances, access to a counsellor or psychologist can take up to 2 weeks. First Aid Counselling will enable one to receive help from anywhere, anytime, by simply logging into the App.
Remote Queuing System by Creative Insights
The need for social distancing and reduction of crowds, especially in high traffic areas, is imperative to curtail the spread of COVID 19. Creative Insights are developing a QFlo App that enables end users to book a spot in a queue virtually through Whatsapp, Facebook Messenger and SMS. The end user receives a virtual ticket confirming their spot in the queue with a QRCode which they scan once they arrive at the service provider.
QFlo allows organisations to better control the flow of clients to and at their premises. It also allows clients to manage their time and safeguards their health and safety. Beyond COVID 19, QFlo will help organisations manage their customer flow more efficiently, ultimately improving customer experience.
“We are pleased to have received an increase in the number of applications (395) compared to the First and Second Calls for proposals indicating a significant level of interest and efforts to innovate by Batswana particularly in the backdrop of the COVID 19 pandemic. Our journey of Digital Transformation necessarily requires that Botswana move swiftly towards the digitisation of services for improved efficiencies.
We are encouraged to see that the funded digital solutions introduce efficiencies across counselling, healthcare service provision, queue management, social work services through paperless processes hence positioning us well for the 4th Industrial Revolution"
-Alan Boshwaen, Botswana Innovation Hub Chief Executive Officer