As a leader in the field of open innovation, RIIS (Research Institute for Innovation and Sustainability) is constantly building efficient ways to foster an innovation culture within our clients’ environment. Our aim is to promote collaboration amongst different entities and to assist in fast-tracking ideas to market.

RIIS has been involved in developing and implementing open innovation platforms for clients such as TIA, Eskom, The Innovation Hub, ELIDZ (East London Industrial Zone), and SAIS (a Finnish-backed development programme).

To support the growing number of open innovation solution exchanges that are being developed and implemented, RIIS established SOLEX, an open innovation portal connecting a diverse group of innovation role players from different sectors across the region and continent.



SOLEX is an open innovation ‘portal of portals’ that aims to provide an umbrella destination for open innovation activities across South and Southern Africa. OI Platforms are very often locally or regionally bound, due to the location of clients and preference for clients to select solution providers from their ‘back yard’. In order to maximise the potential of these OI Platforms, SOLEX therefore creates a single online destination to share OI Challenges, resources, news and activities. 


The value proposition of the SOLEX portal is centred in its ability to -

  • Improve connections or linkages between solution exchanges and their various innovation networks consisting of local companies, regional universities, government, and local science, technology and engineering communities;
  • Bring businesses, government and civil society entities the best and newest technology via strong networks with various innovation communities; and
  • Eliminate barriers to innovation for small and medium sized enterprises by linking them with challenges and technology needs outside of their existing markets and client bases.


To learn more, contact the Business Development Manager.

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