Siemens Stiftung: Why is a Convention such as the EEF so important to inventors? Do you see the value of networking?
David Osborne: We inventors tend to be driven by our cause. Once we are working on something, we are dedicated to it and tend to focus on this one thing. However, meeting other inventors and other people working in the field is essential to us. Creativity is fostered by an exchange of views, and above all, an exchange of experiences. It is essential for me to hear about conditions in places I have never visited – this is how we can broaden our horizons with inventions as well. This Convention is particularly important as it is where the “appropriate” community gathers, that is the community that works on appropriate technology for developing and emerging countries.
Siemens Stiftung:What are your impressions of the Convention so far? Where are the participants from? And in which areas are they working in? Can you benefit from their contribution?
David: We can certainly benefit as there are social entrepreneurs here. Our fellow prize winners from Clean Stoves are here and lots of prize winners from related disciplines. I’ve met people from Peru and Papua New Guinea; there are over 100 participants from 40 countries. It is invaluable to have so many like-minded people in one place.
Siemens Stiftung: Who has bought the water boiler and where is it being used?
David: At present Jompy is being used in Malawi, Uganda and Kenya. One of the benefits of the water boiler is that one design suits all the requirements in all different countries so we don’t have to change the design so that it is accepted by the local population.
Siemens Stiftung: You have been invited to the Event as an award winner - how did the “empowering people. Award” help you in your work?
David: It is always encouraging to win an Award. Especially so, if you are an inventor that needs to bring your product to a wider market. The breathtaking press coverage has helped us immensely as we are still in the process of making Jompy known. It is quite a tiresome process for us at the moment: We have to introduce the Jompy to various NGOs and they test it. Once they are convinced that it works and it is needed, they order it. Making the boilers then takes some time as the production of the water boiler is project-based in smaller quantities. This is where the Award really helped us. The publicity meant that we were approached by organizations – making our jobs a lot easier! Another personal aspect was the fact that the Award Ceremony took place in Nairobi, Kenya where Jompy was used for the very first time! I had the feeling that we had come full circle: Winning a prize in the home of the Jompy!
Siemens Stiftung: How has your invention (Jompy) been received?
David: Very positively. The Jompy produces up to 60% less smoke and therefore has a health benefit in contrast to using conventional firewood. It also saves people having to gather the firewood leaving mothers (as is often the case) free to do other chores.
Siemens Stiftung: What are the latest developments with the Jompy Water Boiler?
David: We are not developing the water boiler technically but the Jompy is more than just a device. It is a social business model and this is very important to us. We want to help people sustainably, that is, in the long-term. It is important to make a difference to the communities we work in so we have developed a business model where an individual can rent the Jompy out. We have calculated that they will then receive a 50% rate of return within a year and a half. Educating people to use the boiler doesn’t cost anything as it simply sits between the pots and fireplace. It’s very easy to use.
Thanks for your time, David! It was great talking to you!
- Water & Waste Water
- Water & Waste Water