Are you an African entrepreneur, academic or inventor with an innovation that could potentially provide an African solution to some of the continent’s everyday challenges? If your answer is “yes”, then you should apply for the Innovation Prize for Africa (IPA).
IPA is looking for applications in social and economic innovation including manufacturing and service industry, health and well-being, agriculture and agri-business, environment, energy and water, and ICT showcasing ground-breaking innovations. Other ventures are also welcome to apply, though.
Previous Innovation Prize for Africa (IPA) editions have held in Botswana (2016), Morocco (2015), Nigeria (2014), South Africa (2013) and Ethiopia (2012). Last year’s winners were selected from nearly 1,000 entries across 46 countries.
The theme for Innovation Prize for Africa (IPA) 2017 is “African innovation: Investing in prosperity”. This theme stems from the United Nations (UN) Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) No. 9 which calls on countries to build resilient infrastructure, promote inclusive and sustainable industrialization and foster innovation. AIF believes that funding streams, investment, and resources are critical to obtaining a clear value chain for innovation in Africa, contributing to sustainable development.
About the Award: IPA is an initiative of the African Innovation Foundation (AIF). The Innovation Prize for Africa (IPA) honors 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 the potential of contributing to sustainable development in Africa.
Offered annually? Yes
Eligible Countries: African countries
To be taken at (country): Innovation Prize for Africa (IPA) winners will be announced and awarded at a special ceremony. Venue and the exact date will be announced by mid-April 2018 and will be posted on IPA website and other social media channels.
Eligible Fields: The Prize focuses on the following Innovation areas:
- Environment, Energy, and Water
- Health and Wellbeing
- Information, Communication, and Technologies (ICTS)
- Manufacturing and Service Industry
Innovations that fit into a thematic area not identified above are also welcome. However, the IPA Secretariat must be notified of this submission, with full details.
Award Provider: African Innovation Foundation (AIF)
Offered Since: 2011
Eligibility: Below is 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. People who do not hold citizenship of an African country are not eligible to apply. An exception will be made for Africans who hold the citizenship of a non-African country;
- 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.
- There is no application fee and age limit, but the applicant must be in a position to defend their submission at any stage of the process.
A duly completed form with a full description of the innovation must accompany each submission; otherwise, the entry will be disqualified. Each mandatory question must be answered fully and making a reference to the attachments does not replace answering the question and would lead to disqualification.
Before starting your application, please read the Terms and Conditions very carefully. You can access them here.
Selection Criteria: In the overall assessment of winning applications, the winners are established with reference to:
- The uniqueness of their innovations and superiority to similar or alternative solutions;
- The size and nature of positive social impact that can be attributed to application of their innovation;
- The potential of the innovation to become a commercial success or sustainable (for social innovations)
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
- Marketability: The extent to which the innovation sufficiently addresses the problem it seeks to solve at a cost or model that is accessible to the target 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 change within the target community and beyond
- Scientific/technical aspects: For tangible technical/scientific products; the extent to which the technical/scientific specifications of the innovation are grounded in established science and sufficiently address anticipated product risks.
Number of Awardees: 3
Value of Award: The IPA 2018 will consist of three Awards and support to all nominees which will be given following the criteria outlined above:
- First Prize (US$100 000): The overall winner whose innovation demonstrates the best innovation with clear business potential
- 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.
- 7 nominees each receive a voucher worth $5000.
Application Deadline: 10th January 2018.
How to Apply:
- All applications must ONLY be submitted through our online portal for the competition at https://ipa.africaninnovation.org/s/login
- Applications can be submitted in English, French or Portuguese.
- You can select your preferred language when you land at the link above.
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