Hope you’re doing well.
While I’ve been a part of design competitions, The Welcome To Nigeria Challenge is the first time I’ve had to run one. Last week, we selected nine participants (in three teams) who will submit detailed designs in the next four weeks. To guide them along this relatively quick process, I’ve had to think about the design methods that help me the most - requirement docs, morphological charts etc - and I thought to ask: what’s in your design toolbox? I’d love to know.
In case you missed it, here’s last month’s newsletter.
Wattnow, the Tunisian energy management startup I mentioned last February, raised $1.3m in a recent funding round. Their product is not the first energy management play (see David’s piece about Grit Systems) that’s on the continent but they’ve been able to build product versions that appeal to particular segments and now want to grow their market outside Tunisia.
In November, the Open Hardware Distribution & Documentation Working Group published their report detailing a framework of how distributed manufacturing of open source hardware products can be approached at scale. With group members from across the world, including from maker labs in Cameroon and Tanzania, they identified different elements to consider like manufacturing capacity and post-distribution support.
This past month, Arm — the semiconductor company — opened an Innovation Lab in South Africa to be operated by the Cortex Hub Hardware Lab. East London, where the lab will be located, is known in South Africa for auto technologies, expertise that Arm hopes will grow with their products.
Intelligent Growing System by Ezzayra is an irrigation monitoring and control system that helps farmers to regulate soil salinity. [Tunisia]
A-Lite produces vein locators to assist clinicians performing canulation. [Uganda]
Micro Village farms mushrooms using process automation. [Zimbabwe]
The Mohammed VI Polytechnic University in Morocco is hiring a Postdoctoral Fellow to conduct research in the security of wireless Internet of Things networks.
The Internet of Production Alliance is looking for contractors to do research and technical authoring on open standards for data, knowledge and know-how related to hardware and manufacturing.
The Orange Social Venture Prize in Africa and the Middle East is receiving applications from social entrepreneurs in select African countries and the Middle East developing new ICT solutions.
Deadline: May 22
In South Africa, Lesira-Teq develops and manufactures smart metering products for public and private utility companies using the LoRa network. Recently, they expanded into Botswana servicing industrial clients with their water metering products.
Until next time,
PS: This month’s Community Chat is with Clinton Oduor, co-founder of Rhions Lab — a company developing wildlife tracking devices in Kenya. He’s also the convener of tinyML Kenya. Join us!