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The African Innovation Foundation (AIF) is delighted to announce the call for the 2015 Innovation Prize for Africa (IPA) applications. The IPA honours and encourages innovative achievements that contribute toward developing new products, increasing efficiency or saving cost in Africa. The prize also promotes among young African men and women the pursuit of science, technology and engineering careers as well as business opportunities with potential of contributing to sustainable development in Africa.
IPA 2015 PRIORITY AREAS
The 2015 IPA 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 and manufacturing and service industry. Details are provided below:
If you have an innovation in a different thematic area and you feel you would like to submit your application, please indicate and contact the IPA Secretariat.
Innovations that have demonstrated a lead in the agricultural sector, particularly, value added at specific points of the agricultural value-chain. It is about providing new ways to ensure a food-secure future for the African continent and the world. The innovation could be about commercial and market-oriented farming as well as small-scale and subsistence farming.
- Environment, Energy and Water
Innovations that have demonstrated a lead in developing or applying cost-effective, smart renewable energy generation processes, cleaner water supply systems etc. It is about the way we adapt to climate challenges and steward our natural resources to impact the inheritance we leave to the future generations of Africans.
- Health and Wellbeing
Innovations that have demonstrated high impact or potential in improving the physical, mental, and social well-being of individuals or communities, through prevention, treatment etc. It is about finding new treatments, cures and approaches that ensure longer, happier and healthier lives. This might include the development and use of traditional and modern medicines, improved sanitation, hygiene and treating or preventing the major diseases faced by the continent.
- Information and Communications Technologies (ICTs)
Innovative ICTs applications that have demonstrated their potential in addressing key development challenges in African societies (e.g. in communities) or economy, including: software, mobile/wireless technologies and local language software. It is about developing new solutions that address everyday challenges that help Africans live and work more successfully.
Manufacturing and Service Industry
Innovations that have demonstrated a lead on addressing the key pillars of innovation in production technology/industry: creating high added-value, greener, more customer focused and/or high quality products; manufacturing more with less input materials, using lowest energy and creating fewest or zero waste. It is about helping people across the continent literally build better lives.
The following are the five criteria to be considered:
- Originality: The uniqueness of the product and its superiority in comparison with similar or alternative products in the market;
- Scalability: The extent to which the solution can be easily applied to other similar markets beyond the applicant’s immediate or local environment;
- Social impact: The ability of the innovation to create or effect positive or desirable changes within the target community and beyond;
- Scientific/technical aspects: For tangible technical/scientific products; this refers to extent to which the technical/scientific specifications of the innovation are grounded on established science and sufficiently address any anticipated product risks.
- Marketability: The extent to which the innovation sufficiently addresses the problem it seeks to solve at a price or model that is accessible to the target market;
The 2015 IPA will consist of three Prizes, which will be given following the criteria outlined above:
- First Prize (USD 100.000): This prize will be awarded to the innovator with the overall best innovation that meets all the above mentioned IPA criteria and has clear business potential.
- Second Prize (USD 25,000): This prize will be given to the selected innovator with a commercially driven innovation. Beyond the aforementioned five criteria, this category of Award will be carefully assessed on its marketability potential and will be awarded to the innovation with the best commercial/business potential.
- Special Prize for Social Impact Innovation (USD 25,000): This category of award will be assessed carefully on its particular social impact in the community/country and will be awarded to the innovation with the best social impact.
- Finalists: The top-10 finalists shall be invited for face-to-face interviews and to the award ceremony. All finalists will receive certificates. In addition, the AIF will also provide in-kind support to each finalist up to a maximum of USD 5,000 in post-prize technical support to assist in moving the innovation to the next step. Media coverage and additional support might also be mobilized for the finalists.
For more information and to apply, please visit the IPA website: http://innovationprizeforafrica.org/innovation-prize-for-africa-2015/
Juma Bruno Ngomuo