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Calling all Innovators – The 2013 Innovation Prize for Africa

The United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (ECA) and the African Innovation Foundation (AIF) recently announced the call for the 2013 Innovation Prize for Africa (IPA). As innovators/entrepreneurs are not highly profiled on most development agendas, IPA acknowledges and encourages their endeavors.  The prize honours and encourages innovative achievements that contribute toward developing new products, increasing efficiency or saving cost in Africa. All entries must be submitted before October 31st 2012, 24:00 GMT.

The prize also promotes among young African men and women the pursuit of science, technology and engineering careers as well as business opportunities with potentials of contributing to sustainable development in Africa.

The Aims of the 2013 IPA 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 successful applicants
  • encourage entrepreneurs, innovators, funding bodies and business development service providers to exchange ideas and explore innovative business opportunities

The Application page is here.

The 2013 IPA recognizes innovative breakthroughs that unlock new African potential in the following five priority areas.

  • Agriculture/agribusiness
  • Environment, Energy and Water
  • Health and Wellbeing
  • Information and Communications Technologies (ICTs) which may include Software (application development, software design and development, enterprise application development, or platform development), Mobile/Wireless Technologies that demonstrate how underprivileged people can use devices for social and economic benefits and Local Language Software known as “localisation”.
  • Manufacturing and Service Industry

Criteria for IPA Entries

The 2013 IPA will consist of three Prizes, which will be given following the criteria outlined below:

  1. Marketability: Potential for commercialization and bankability
  2. Originality: Innovativeness, demonstrated creativity and originality of idea
  3. Scalability: Scale and scope and whether a reasonable strategy for moving ahead has been made
  4. Social impact: The socio-economic impacts of the proposed innovation, and how it addresses existing development challenges faced by a community/country or the continent as whole.
  5. Utility/technical aspects: The technological or scientific significance of the innovation in the particular field and beyond.

The first Prize is $100,000 and it will be awarded to the innovator with the overall best
innovation.
The runner-up Prize is $25,000 and it will be given to the selected innovator with
Commercial Driven Innovation.

The special Prize for Social Impact Innovation is $25,000. It will be assessed on its particular social impact in the community/country and will be awarded to the innovation with the best social impact.

Nominees are not left out, all nominees will receive certificates, and the IPA team will work with them to mobilize in-kind support to facilitate next steps for their innovation.

So what are you waiting for? If you have an innovation that you think deserves the prize, Submit your application to:
Innovation Prize for Africa (IPA)
ICTs, Science and Technology Division (ISTD)
ECONOMIC COMMISSION FOR AFRICA
5th Floor, ECA Building, P.O.Box 3001, Menelik II Avenue
Fax: +251-11-5510512
Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
Website: http://innovationprizeforafrica.org/

Before making the submission, Kindly note the following

a. A fully completed form with a full description of the innovation must accompany each
submission; otherwise the entry will be disqualified. Each question must be answered fully and making a reference to the attachments does not replace answering the question.

b. Please note that there is no fee to apply.

c. Submission should be done online, however IPA also accept applications by mail.
Applicants sending their applications by mail are responsible for ensuring that their
applications have been received by October 31st 2012, 24:00 GMT.

d. Only innovations by Africans for Africa are eligible to enter.  Africans in the Diaspora can also apply if their innovations are of significance for Africa.

For any questions regarding the IPA application process, please check first the website and if  you still have questions then contact the following IPA team members:
UNECA: Mrs Eskedar Nega, Program Officer
Email: ipa@uneca.org
Telephone: +251 11 544 53 15
AIF: Ms Pauline Mujawamariya, Program Manager
Email: ipainfo@africaninnovation.org
Telephone: +41 79 908 96 20

Full text of the announcement is available here . No extensions will be given.

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