Apply for Innovation Prize for Africa 2018

The African Innovation Foundation (AIF) is delighted to announce the call for its 2018 Innovation Prize for Africa (IPA) applications. The IPA main purpose is to strengthen African innovation ecosystems through supporting a culture of innovation and competitiveness, whilst spurring growth of innovative, market-driven African solutions to African challenges.

The IPA is focused on:

  • Honouring and encouraging innovative achievements that contribute toward developing new products, increasing efficiency or saving cost in Africa.
  • Providing unique platforms for entrepreneurs, innovators, funding bodies and business development service providers to network, exchange ideas and explore innovative business opportunities.
  • Promoting innovation across Africa in key sectors through the competition
  • Mobilizing leaders from all sectors to fuel African innovation and strengthen the African innovation ecosystems.
  • Promoting science, technology and engineering as a rewarding career path among African youth and women.

The IPA anticipates contributing to the following outcomes:

  • Increased acceleration and scaling of home grown innovations across Africa and beyond.
  • Increased funding of local innovations and investment in start-ups which leads to job creation and inclusive growth.
  • Increased number of women and young African focusing on creating innovative solutions to African challenges
  • Strong and inclusive African innovation ecosystems.

IPA 2018 Priority Areas

The IPA 2018 recognizes innovative breakthroughs that unlock new African potential in the following five priority areas: agriculture and agribusiness; environment, energy and water; health and well-being; ICTs; manufacturing and service industry.

Eligibility Requirements

Are you an African entrepreneur, academic or inventor with an innovation that could potentially provide an African solution to some of the continent’s every day challenges? If your answer is “yes”, then you should apply for the IPA.

This Prize is intended to benefit Africans who have devised outstanding innovative solutions to real African challenges. Below are specific guidelines on who can apply and how to apply:

  • Eligible innovations MUST be by Africans for Africa. Africans in the Diaspora can also apply if their innovations are of significance for Africa. The working definition of Africans are persons who hold the passport of an African country, OR if they hold the passport of a non-African country, they are able to demonstrate that they are either recently naturalized in their new country or at most they are a first-generation African of their new nationality.
  • A fully completed application form with a full description of the innovation must accompany each submission; if not, the entry will be disqualified.
  • The innovation description should clearly illustrate the social and/or economic outcome and impact with regard to African development and the priority area chosen; it should also be in line with the IPA assessment and selection criteria.
  • Application forms and description of the innovation should be in English, French or Portuguese. While the innovations can be conducted in any language including local languages, the submissions should be translated and submitted in English, French or Portuguese.
  • Applicants are required to attach a letter of support/endorsement from an institution or an authority with knowledge of their innovation. This will serve as a testimony of how important the innovation is in addressing development challenges faced by Africans.
  • Each mandatory question on the application form MUST be answered; if not, the application will be deemed incomplete and disqualified.

Award Prize

There will be a maximum of ten nominees invited to the Awards ceremony in the host country. Out of these ten, three will be selected after face-to-face interviews for the top 3 prizes while the remaining seven shall receive recognition prizes.

  • First Prize (US $100,000): The overall winner who represents the best of the applicants in terms of “innovativeness” of their solution, the commercial and scalability potential and social impact.
  • Second Prize (US $25 000): The innovator who best demonstrates a commercially-driven business innovation. Beyond the aforementioned five criteria, this Award will be carefully assessed on its marketability and commercial potential.
  • Special Prize for Social Impact (US$ 25,000): The innovation that demonstrates the greatest social impact.
  • Recognition Prizes (US$ 5,000): the remaining seven shall receive a voucher in recognition of advancement of their innovation to the finalist stage.

All financial cash support by AIF to prize winners must be applied exclusively towards the further development of their innovation. The recipients shall commit in writing to use the funds exclusively for this purpose. The recipients will also be obliged to report to AIF at mutually agreeable intervals on how they have deployed their funds and progress they have made.

Additionally, nominees and winners shall also benefit from the AIF-IPA brand, receive ongoing local, regional and international media coverage, and support and training opportunities can be mobilized for them.

Application Deadline: 10 January 2018 at 23.59 GMT

Email: [email protected]

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