The Idea Generator (i-Gym): 2020 Innovation Challenge

Young scientists are invited to submit creative or innovative ideas to aid the recovery of the country’s economy, or to solve the many problems caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. The 2020 Innovation Challenge is hosted by the Central University of Technology, Free State in partnership with Eskom Expo for Young Scientists.

The challenge is open to South African school learners in grades 4 to 12 attending any school in South Africa, including home schools, with one of two vouchers per category, worth R5000*, up for grabs to develop your idea or project. Categories include: Best Idea / Project with the highest Commercial Potential & Best Idea / Project with highest Social Impact.

To enter:

  • Download and complete the application form here
  • Email the application form to
  • When submitting your application form, please request a Presentation Template and *Terms & Conditions.
  • For more information please visit the i-GYM webpage at Central University of Technology website:

 Addressing the COVID-19 pandemic 

 Learners are urged to submit innovative ideas focused on the COVID-19 pandemic that are related, but not limited to the set of problem statements listed below.

Solutions can be developed across other areas that are not listed below, that could create an impact and curb the spread and future outbreaks, so feel free to think outside the box!

  1. Containment of the virus: Measures and efforts to ease the transmission of the virus.
  2. Patient care and management: Healthcare system, also to keep track of affected and potential patients/remote treatment of isolated patients.
  3. Vulnerable populations: The set of problems relevant to the elderly and the immuno-compromised.
  4. Fake news detection
  5. Personal hygiene and protection
  6. Movement tracking to diagnose infection and track movements of people in quarantine areas/ lockdown regions/isolated patients
  7. Addressing the widespread disruption of the educational systems due to the pandemic.
  8. Effective communication to ensure that accurate information reaches even the most remote locations with least human intervention.
  9. Supply Chains: Solutions that aid efficient distribution of essential commodities.
  10. Large scale sterilisation and sanitisation
  11. Solutions for lessening the mental impact of social isolation
  12. Support to frontline healthcare workers
  13. Medical equipment: Diagnostic as well as therapeutic. There is an urgent need to develop safe and effective countermeasures that can be readily available, accessible and suitable for use in populations most in need.

Important dates:

Registration Opens: 20 August 2020

Registration Closes & final day for submission of presentations: 25 September 2020

Innovation Challenge Pitching – Learners: 6 October 2020

i-GYM Innovation Challenge – Live Finals: 9 October 2020

There are 2 comments
  1. Rishabh Raj

    Can indian apply for (i-Gym): 2020 Innovation Challenge?

    • JeVanne Gibbs

      Hi, that competition took place last year.

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