#SAscienceHero Lesley Scott wins innovation prize

Via htxt.africa

Image: flickr.com/photos/thinkpublic/3042791963

Image: flickr.com/photos/thinkpublic/3042791963

We’re a bit behind the news on this, which in the fast paced internet world is clearly unforgiveable, but Lesley Erica Scott, inventor and Wits University professor, has won the African Innovation Foundation’s Innovation Prize for Africa’s Special Prize for Social Impact for her invention that examines the accuracy of machines used to detect TB.

Scott, who works at the Wits Department of Molecular Medicine and Hematology, received the award along with $25 000 (R300 000) at a ceremony held in Morocco last week.

Moroccan researcher Adnane Remmal was crowned the overall winner for his African farming solution that helps improve production, walking away with the $100 000 (R1.2 million) grand prize.


Scott conceptualised and and created the Smartspot TBcheck to examine whether TB detection machines are functioning optimally. TBcheck is easy and safe to use and can be delivered to laboratories safely and economically. Smartspot TBcheck aims to make diagnosing TB far easier and go a long way in curbing the TB epidemic in Africa.

Alex Mwaura Muriu, an entrepreneur from Kenya who also developed a farming solution, was named runner up and received $25 000. Muriu’s invention is an anti-microbial formula that reduces health hazards in livestock, preventing the transmission of multi-resistant germs and carcinogens to humans through the consumption of milk, eggs and meat.

“This year’s winners have a common theme: their innovations highlight the vital and crucial need to respond directly to demanding community needs – the heart of the AIF mandate,” the foundation said.

“The innovations further demonstrate great potential to change the course of history in Africans’ responses to health, technology, enterprise and the agricultural sector, prioritizing needs-based responses through cost effective means – a critical tool for sustainable development.”

Thank to our friends at htxt.co.za for this article!


SciBraai, a proudly South African NPO dedicated to science journalism, communication and outreach. SciBraai began on Heritage Day 2013 - Anina Mumm and Engela Duvenage in 2013 launched the website, scibraai.co.za, to feature stories about South African research, technology and innovation, and the people behind the discoveries. This blog welcomes all South Africans to go behind the scenes of local science and exploration endeavors. It’s a place to share stories about the scientists themselves and the interesting, little-known activities that are often left out of research journals. A place to learn more about the stuff that makes South African science and its people tick. A place to feel inspired about what South Africans are discovering on home soil and abroad. Because local is lekker, no matter what language you use. SciBraai's following has grown in the past years, and we are now on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. We've also begun organising real-life braai's where we share round-the-fire stories about South African science and scientists.

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