Africa’s Mega Innovators Challenge, IPA – Now Accepting Entries
The fourth edition for the annual Innovation Prize for Africa (IPA) challenge is now open. The IPA challenge is the brain-child of the African Innovation Foundation (AIF) – a South Africa based organization that brings together Africa’s entrepreneurs and innovators to spark development of ideas, fresh perspectives and development in Africa.
AIF gives a cash reward of $150,000 to leading innovators who come up with market-focused solutions that are tackle the unique challenges facing Africa. The AIF prize awards also encourage private equity investors and African governments to start investing in different sectors of the economy and establish a conducive environment to boost economic growth.
AIF says the IPA challenge has achieved impressive results in encouraging more African innovators to be pro-active in the creation of technologies and concepts to overcome various challenges facing Africa.
Jean-Claude Bastos de Morais, the Founder of both AIF and IPA, said the prize is an innovative way to spark creativity and development growth across the African continent. He further added that his organization is very passionate and committed to ensuring that Africa achieves its potential.
“But we also recognise that this new generation needs the resources and the opportunities to realise their ambition. IPA provides a platform to encourage and harness these entrepreneurial skills in order to help improve the lives of Africans and to help realise untapped potential.
The challenge is instrumental in facilitating revolutionary ideas and creativity as well as triggering awareness to the outstanding work being done in Africa by Africans.”
David Drew, AgriProtein spokesperson said, “Africa needs meaningful investment to alleviate poverty and provide inclusive prosperity. To achieve this, we need to be able to provide environments that promote quality investment for the people and reduce risks. Forums like the IPA are necessary to make the most of the continent’s investment.”
All innovations presented in the AIF challenge will be evaluated based on their originality, scalability, marketability, social impact and technical or scientific aspects. The first place winner will win a $100,000 grand prize, and the second place will take home $25,000. All of the award winners must demonstrate great commercial and business potential. There will be an additional award of a special prize to be given to the innovators whose product has the best social impact.
The IPA challenge encourages entries in the following key categories:
- Agriculture and Agribusiness.
- Energy and Water.
- Health and Wellbeing.
- ICT Applications.
- Manufacturing and Services Industries.
In 2013, the IPA winner AgriProtein raised a total of $11 million which it invested in the setting up of its first two commercial farms established in Cape Town.
For 2014, IPA has named Dr Nicolaas Duneas, and Mr Nuno Pires both from South Africa as the winners of its grand prize of $100,000 for their innovation, the Altis Osteogenic Bone Matrix (Altis OBMTM).
The Altis OBMTM is the first inject-able porcine-derived BMP medical devices on Earth; an innovative product used in the treatment of bone injuries and voids by using a regenerative bio-implant.
The deadline for the IPA 2015 challenge is October 31st, 2014.