2012 Innovation Prize for Africa
The United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (ECA) and the African Innovation Foundation (AIF) has launched the first 2012 Innovation Prize for Africa (IPA). This annual prize is designed to reward and encourage innovative achievements that contribute toward developing new products, increasing efficiency or saving cost in Africa.
Designed to foster growth and creativity, the IPA acknowledges and encourages efforts of innovators and entrepreneurs in Africa. Consumption of the latest imported technologies alone cannot take Africa to where it deserves to be. Poverty, illiteracy and hunger must be fought with local creative solutions. It has become clear to all that innovation and entrepreneurship must become central to Africa’s development agenda.
It is expected that the prize will promote the pursuit of science, technology and engineering careers and business applications among young African men and women.
“Innovation is a combination of identifying problems, and finding groundbreaking implementable solutions; we hope the prizes will contribute to tapping into the ingenuity of Africans to solve Africa’s problems,” says the ECA Executive Secretary and Under-Secretary General, Mr. Abdoulie Janneh.
He adds: “Currently, ideas, innovation and knowledge are what is driving the world, and transforming economies. It is therefore fitting and appropriate that the Innovation Prize for Africa is targeting a unique group of stakeholders – innovators and inventors in the area of ICTs, Green Technologies and Health & Food Security.”
Winners for the selected innovators and entrepreneurs will emerge in the three thematic areas of:
ICT; Green Technologies (energy and water); Health and Food Security (including agriculture).
The first prize will be USD100,000 for the selected best innovators/entrepreneurs, and the second Prize will be USD50,000 for the second selected innovators/entrepreneurs.
The registration deadline for the 2012 prize has been set for September 30th, 2011 with no possibility of extensions.
The aims are to:
- Create a platform for identification of innovative concepts and projects submitted by applicants that could be supported by AIP;
- Promote innovation across Africa in key sectors of interest through the competition;
- Promote science, technology and engineering as rewarding, exciting and noble career options among the youth in Africa by profiling successful applicants; and
- Encourage entrepreneurs, innovators, funding bodies and business development service providers to exchange ideas and explore innovative business opportunities.
In pursuing those aims, the AIP expects the following outcomes:
- Increased commercialization of research and development (R&D) outputs in Africa;
- Increased development of start-up, adoption of new and emerging technologies and accelerate growth of an innovative and dynamic private sector; and
- Increased general economic activities that result in long term sustainable development.
Over the coming five years, AIP will be targeting innovators/entrepreneurs in different thematic areas to be determined each year by the Technical Advisory Committee.
For detailed information of competition categories, conditions of entry, and submission procedures, please visit Award site