INNOVEX: Creating Technology for Africa

Innovex is a technology company based in Uganda focused on embedded systems, connected devices, web and software development, and wireless communication technologies.

The off-grid solar PV market in Sub-Saharan Africa is dominated by a supply chain of Chinese manufactured hardware and local distributors and retailers. In addition to purchase price elevation, this supply chain also leaves Africa without much-needed manufacturing and value creation jobs. Furthermore, the reliability of the solar PV systems is inhibited by high costs of operations and maintenance, leading to non-performing systems. Therefore, despite the ever-growing proliferation of solar PV, the access gap to affordable clean energy remains high. To address this need, Innovex developed ‘Remot’, an IoT solution for remotely monitoring and controlling solar PV systems and equipment. ‘Remot’ supports affordable PayGo acquisition of solar PV systems, solar equipment and appliances, and remote diagnosis and health monitoring of the systems by both solar companies and end-users (see Remot Video Promo – YouTube).

 ‘Remot’ hardware, comprising a Printed Circuit Board Assembly (PCBA) and a plastic casing was initially designed in Uganda, and contract manufactured in China. This process was inhibited by order lags and limited control over quality. The programming, testing, and packaging of hardware, as well as software development were undertaken in Uganda. 

With support from PREO, Innovex was able to test the viability of fully undertaking design, manufacture, programming, and testing of the PCBA, and manufacture the product casing in Uganda, creating an end-to-end local manufacturing process.

This initiative is geared towards making solar systems, solar equipment, and solar appliances in the solar-for-productive-use industry more accessible by reducing the operation and set-up cost for solar installers. In addition, new direct local jobs have been created, including process workers, machine operators, quality control and administrators.

The project was able to establish new partnerships and investments that include Iungo Capital, GAIA Impact Funds, Mazars, and China Impact Sourcing, among others.

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INNOVEX in the news: CNN inside Africa Uganda clean energy pioneers Innovex – YouTube