mLab and the CSIR partner on mHealth & Wellness Ecosystem

mLab and the CSIR partner to unlock the local mHealth & Wellness open innovation economy.

mLab Southern Africa and the CSIR announce a new partnership to stimulate more innovation in the Mobile Health & Wellness sector.

Tshwane, South Africa, May 26, 2016 – mLab Southern Africa today announced a new partnership with the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) aimed at stimulating more open innovation and development within the Mobile Health and Wellness sector.

“The wearable medical device market, while relatively new, created over $3billion in market value last year at a compound annual growth rate of 17.8% in the next 4 years. This is just one of the opportunities in mHealth & wellness which also includes, data and analytical tools, virtual reality, robotics, apps, fashion and more and it offers local innovators and start-ups a gap to become market leaders in a new economic sector. Our vision with this partnership is to accelerate South Africa’s participation in this rare window of economic opportunity” Derrick Kotze, CEO mLab Southern Africa

The partnership will include a number of mHealth & wellness programmes to help facilitate knowledge transfer, ideation, development and commercialisation by local experts, students, start-ups and larger industry partners with the most notable being the launch season of the first DEMOLA in South Africa.

The DEMOLA will bring together local and international Industry, SMME’s and multidisciplinary students to develop solutions for real mHealth & Wellness challenges. The first DEMOLA season will kick off in Cape Town in July 2016 and will have a dedicated mHealth & Wellness stream.

“Best practise from open innovation models which have been applied in Living Labs in South Africa over the last 8 years indicated that the Demola open Innovation model is a unique contribution. DEMOLA applies an exciting open innovation model where multidisciplinary teams co-create novel products which can stimulate the National System of Innovation in South Africa.”  Prof Marlien Herselman, CSIR Meraka Institute & former chairperson of the Living Lab networks in Southern Africa

The DEMOLA network stretches across 11 countries and 14 locations linking together over 50 Universities and 600 Company Partners.

“Wearable technology is expected to reach $ 31.27 Billion by 2020 and South Africa is uniquely positioned to, not only benefit from this disruptive technology, but also to contribute relevant and innovative local products. The mLab and the CSIR partnership to unlock the local mHealth & Wellness open innovation economy is premised on the assumption that innovation is only as strong as the ecosystem in which it is created. As such the collaboration with mLab, Higher Education, Industry and other stakeholders endeavour to stimulate a resilient South African mHealth and Wellness Innovation Ecosystem to ultimately benefit the people of South Africa”  Dr. Adele Botha, CSIR Meraka Institute.

Interested parties can signup as part of the mHealth & Wellness Ecosystem Community at

mLab Southern Africa is a technology accelerator and non-profit company (NPC) which focusses on skills development, product development and enterprise development within the technology innovation economy across the mobile, internet of things, data sciences and digital design verticals.

The CSIR Meraka Instatute is an operating unit of the CSIR focused on Information and Communication Technology (ICT). They are in the business of research, innovation and advanced human capital development. With over 200 staff and students, Meraka is the largest group in South Africa dedicated to ICT research.