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Latest News / Top Ten Innovators Awards: Spotlight on IDEAS Indonesia, KwickScreen and LapPro Solution

 

Developing sustainable material from agricultural waste, providing virtual reality training solutions for surgeons, and the world’s most versatile room divider are three innovative businesses to have each won US $10,000 of funding as runners up in the Shell LiveWIRE Top Ten Innovators awards programme.

Founded by Adi Reza and Ronaldiaz Hartantyo from Bandung, Indonesia, IDEAS Indonesia produce a DIY mushroom cultivation kit called Growbox. The product empowers people in urban areas to grow their own food and promotes awareness of accessible, sustainable food sources.

With a desire to create new market opportunities for their products through innovation, the enterprising duo have developed a way to turn mushroom and agricultural waste into a new sustainable material, ‘Mycotech’,which is lightweight, biodegradable and fireproof.

Speaking about the potential for this new material, Ronaldiaz Hartantyo said, “We see many possibilities with this innovation. Indonesia is an agricultural country, so we have a lot of unused agricultural waste all across the nation. We can help many farmers and people, making many jobs and generate profit from waste. We can also integrate infrastructure with agriculture using this sustainable future material.”

The company is currently partnering with a national research institute to use their lab facilities to make and test prototypes of the new material. Commenting on the impact that the business has had to date, Ronaldiaz said, “We’ve sold thousands of Growboxes every month.

As well as enabling people to harvest their own mushrooms, we have also opened up a new horizon for what agriculture can become, and how it can be creative. “We have brought prosperity to our local mushroom farmers by opening up new markets for different varieties of mushroom that can be cultivated. We have enabled our customers to gain experience and knowledge of growing their own food, and we have sown that the mushroom can be a future source of sustainable building material.”

Having grown by 300% over the past year, and now employing 15 staff, the company currently spends 30% of its profits on research and development. The company is already exploring opportunities for the development of new products based on herbs and algae, and is planning to create an urban installation using Mycotech to showcase the opportunities of this new building material.

LapPro Solutions was started by Syed Yasir Hassan to improve access to new, revolutionary surgery techniques for trainee surgeons in Pakistan. His medical innovation, LapBOX, simulates laparoscopic surgery, providing a training resource for surgeons to learn and practice the technique at a fraction of the cost of comparable products.

Started in 2014, the business has the potential to dramatically improve access to progressive surgical training and contribute to greater funding in other areas as hospitals are able to significantly reduce costs in this area. Other virtual reality laparoscopic training simulators on the market cost around US $20k, while LapBOX provides a comparable training solution for US $2k. Syed Hassan said, “LapBOX is affordable for any surgeon or teaching hospital. It is a very cost-effective training solution and has higher accuracy and more features compared to other training products, such as feedback mechanisms and performance metrics. LapBOX is very competitively priced, and is affordable for individual surgeons to buy.” Syed intends to use his funding award to develop a medical training app and to develop an even more compact version of LapBOX.

KwickScreen from the UK was founded by Michael Korn in 2010. Its KwickScreen Pro is a portable, retractable and printable room divider. Initially designed for use in the acute healthcare sector, the product is now also widely used in medical simulation, airports and the hospitality industry. Today, the company employs 20 full time staff, operates through an international network of distributors, and has developed a reputation as the world’s most versatile temporary screen.

Commenting on the role innovation has played in enabling the growth of his business, Michael Korn said, “Innovation for us is more than a couple of isolated changes but a change to how we operate, and all of these innovations have enabled us to grow strongly. “Our revenue is up over 40% on last year, our gross margin has improved by 10% and we have doubled our sales team as we grow into new markets and territories.

We have, as a result of changes in logistics, production and marketing, been able to enter into five more countries as we expand our network of distributors, and this has given us international growth in excess of 50% on revenue.” Michael intends to use his Top 10 Innovators award to promote KwickScreen into new markets, by attending specific market events and producing literature to access these markets.

The Shell LiveWIRE Top Ten Innovators awards programme offers young entrepreneurs, who have shown success through innovation, the opportunity to receive further investment. By supporting innovation, Shell LiveWIRE intends to not only promote the long-term sustainability and growth of the individual winners, but to create role models for future entrepreneurs.

The inaugural 2015 awards saw 27 businesses compete for a place in the top ten, representing ten Shell LiveWIRE programmes around the world, and encompassing a diverse range of industries.


 

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