Lumkani scoops R20m in the EU’s EIC Horizon Prize

8 Oct 2020 - 14:15

Lumkani, a University of Cape Town (UCT) spin-off/out company, with the mission to mitigate the loss of life and property caused by shack fires in South Africa and across the world, has won R20-million the EU’s EIC Horizon Prize.

The social enterprise has been recognised as one of the five exceptional innovations under the category "Shelter and related assistance”, for its social impact for making a difference in the lives of the most vulnerable people globally.

According to EIC, the prize is funded under Horizon 2020, the EU research and innovation programme, as part of the European Innovation Council( EIC) pilot. It rewards the best, proven, cost-effective, technology-based solutions for humanitarian aid in five categories: shelter and related assistance; water, hygiene and sanitation; energy; health and medical care; and an open category. The winners, one per category, each received €1,000,000.

Francois Petousis, Head of Product at Lumkani: “We do this in two ways: by providing risk-reducing innovative hardware solutions, designed specifically for these communities, and by developing and distributing affordable financial products to allow people to rebuild after disaster strikes, breaking the cycles of poverty common in these environments”.

Lumkani’s detectors are networked within a 60-metre radius so that in the event of a fire all devices in this range will ring together, enabling a community-wide response to the danger. This buys time for communities to become proactive in rapidly spreading fire risk situations.

Lumkani has already distributed detectors to over 7 000 households and plans to use the grant to deploy its technology across South Africa and 30 000 devices will be installed in homes of underserved individuals.

To learn more about Lumkani visit: