SANBio LabHack

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Calling all innovators, problem solvers and designers!

Download advert in pdf here.


Can you help?

A lack of laboratory equipment and often makes teaching science and technology difficult. Technological solutions for everyday challenges can also be developed with a bit of ingenuity, even when the resources available are not always cutting edge. Join a global community of creative problem solvers and put your creativity to test with real challenges.

The challenge

To design low-cost laboratory equipment and practical solutions rooted in frugal innovation that work and can be built locally. During the event, each team will develop and build a practical solution to address a specific challenge in low resource environments. Materials for building the solutions will be provided at the event. Mentors will be allocated to assist the teams.

What can you work on?

-        Laminar flow closet or tissue culture hood
-        Magnetic hotplate stirrer
-        PCR machine
-        High school microscope
-        Desktop centrifuge
-        Open category: medical devices (you can suggest any innovative medical device which you believe you could build a prototype of at the event)

The material cost for building the prototype during the event should not exceed 150 US Dollars.

Why participate?

You will show off your design, get feedback from other academics and industry sponsors, network with other engaged students, attend talks on Open Hardware, Responsible Design & Innovation, Intellectual Property and more!

Who is invited?

SANBio LabHack is open to undergraduate students from all 13 SANBio member states* who are registered in a university or college and studying ICT, Engineering, Agriculture, Biotechnology, Statistics, Law, Medicine and Business. Graduate students may also be considered under special circumstances. Local high school students will also be called on to attend.

Applicants are expected to form and apply for the Hackathon as teams of 3-4 people from different disciplines (e.g. Engineering, ICT, Life sciences etc). Teams with duplicated disciplines will not be considered. Team members do not need to be from the same country or institutions. A limited number of teams will be selected to participate; SANBio will be able to cover the travel and accommodation costs for a limited amount of participants.

SANBio reserves the right of final decision in all matters related to participant selection.

For enquiries, please contact us at

* SANBio member states: Angola, Botswana, Mozambique, South Africa, Lesotho, Swaziland, Malawi, Namibia, Mauritius, Zimbabwe, Seychelles, Madagascar and Zambia


Application deadline extended 14 October 2018

For instructions and to apply, visit: