Sturtium is developing a digital ecosystem where experts can interact and develop solutions for Africa’s sustainability issues.
Sturtium is a South African based startup established in 2019. The company uses science and engineering to provide solutions that integrate technology, environmental needs and social needs. The start-up has developed a platform, Sustainatag, for businesses, social enterprises, investors, and public institutions involved with solving sustainability challenges. With the use of Sustainaconnect, Sturtium aims to promote conversations on sustainability issues affecting Africa, provide evidence-based research and analysis to better cater to this area.
"Our work is mainly focussed on developing technology platforms involving data. However, we are engaged in consulting services whenever we can. We have done one small greenhouse irrigation project relating to the installation of solar panels as an alternative source of power." said Ramrall, co-founder and Scientist at Sturtium.
The informatics system was developed towards the middle of 2020 and initially, it was targeting people in the municipalities to get them to report environmental issues. the intended usage was not possible because the municipalities they tried to approach were not interested in integrating it into their systems mainly because of financial issues. However, they still have the technology at work and people can report. So if for example, there is a pollution issue, one can take a picture, and share it with us.
All that is needed is that one provides a short description of what they see alongside the image and the GPS location. One can report anything relating to the environment including waste, water, power & electricity issues such as illegal connectivity, exposed & fallen electricity lines, and other safety issues that affect the environment.
"It is a platform for social businesses and enterprises to enhance the basic information about their businesses, but only if their operations are related to sustainability. It is targeted at social, environmental, and economic aspects of sustainability and businesses and non-profits that are involved in solving challenges related to that. We view it as a free directory where such businesses can sign up. To promote the effectiveness of the platform, we recently launched, Sustainatag Connect, which is a chat forum related to sustainability. Basically, we are looking to create a forum where people can connect and discuss issues relating to sustainability" added Ramrall.
Currently they have 20+ enterprises and non-profits listed on the platform. Some of the examples would be “See the Bigger Picture,” which is resource management for non-profits. This is involved with educating people within the community and utilizing people in those communities to collect waste through the resources available, and educating members on the use and importance of recycling. They are aiming to create a digital ecosystem to enable players in sustainability to network, acquire data, and scientific insights to develop and expand. The two platforms, Sustainatag & Sustainatag Connect, bring experts and organizations together. They conduct research through the data and issues that are brought up, and in turn, provide information on how to utilize data and services by also utilizing the information shared by the experts.
"Our focus this year is on growing the use of Sustainatag website and Sustainatag Connect. We currently have about 400 visits on Sustainatag per month, while the connect platform just launched. We are looking to having conversations on sustainability, then, in turn, have data to be put in various topics. So getting users on Sustainatag Connect, and more enterprises and non-profits listed on Sustainatag is a priority. We are looking to generate revenue by further developing the platform to allow businesses, non-profits and individuals involved with sustainability-focused work to better manage their projects, analyse data and utilise market and problem-insights as well as incorporate spatial and location intelligence. We aim to charge an annual subscription fee for components of the platform or a pay-as-you-go model for certain services" said Ramrall.