ECA launches 2013 Innovation Prize for Africa
United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (ECA) has launched the second round of the Innovation Prize for Africa (IPA) to reward innovation across Africa in key sectors of interest. IPA 2013 Deadline has been extended to 30 November 2012.
According to Ms. Aida Opoku-Mensah, Director of the ICT, Science and Technology Division (ISTD) of the ECA, the focus is on creating a future of innovation in Africa. “Our focus is the future we innovate. It’s based on the core belief that the best way to predict the future is to create it. It is a call to action across Africa. To develop our own solutions, bring together our best minds and all our resources.” She added “It’s a global invitation to link arms and use our potential, create efficiencies, and commercialize the very best ideas. This is the future Africa deserves”.
ECA has invited researchers to propose innovative projects that unlock new African potential under one or more areas which include Manufacturing and Service Industry; Agriculture/agribusiness; ICTs; Health and Wellbeing; and Environment, Energy and Water.
In the priority area of ICTs, the intention is to reward innovative ICTs applications that have demonstrated their potential in addressing key development challenges in African societies. These inlcdue Software development or platforms or products that address key development challenge, Mobile/Wireless Technologies that empower the underprivileged people to improve their lives and create entrepreneurship and employment opportunities and Local Language Software (“localisation”) technologies and applications.
The organizers expect the prize to promote among young African men and women the pursuit of science, technology and engineering careers and business applications. The aims are to:
Mobilize leaders from all sectors to fuel African innovation;
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 success 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 IPA expects the following outcomes:
Increased commercialization of research and development (R&D) outputs in Africa;
Increased funding of start-ups, adoption of new and emerging technologies and accelerated growth of an innovative and dynamic private sector; and
Increased economic activity and African led development that results in lasting impact.
Selection criteria include market potential, impact, scalability, originality, utility and technical aspects
Winning proposal would be awarded a cash prize of US$ 100,000, with two runner-ups receiving each US$ 25,000.
Registration deadline for the 2013 prize was initially set for 31 October 2012. IPA 2013 Deadline has been extended to 30 November 2012.
This is the second phase of the competition. In the first phase of the competition, 458 applicants from 38 countries submitted their projects for consideration. Mohammed Sanad, an Egyptian engineer, who has designed a base-station antenna that can facilitate upgrades to more advanced mobile networks in developing countries became the first winner of the Innovation Prize for Africa. The runner up, Zeinou Abdelyamine, an industrial chemist from Algeria, received US$50,000 for his research and development of environmentally friendly, natural insecticides and rodenticides.
The Innovation Prize for Africa (IPA) is a joint initiative by the African Innovation Foundation (AIF) and the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (ECA) designed to promote and reflect the strong entrepreneurial spirit and the high potential of innovations in Africa.
For detailed information of competition categories, conditions of entry, and submission procedures, please visit: Prize Site