Applications are open for the 2016 Innovation Prize for Africa, the competition aimed at recognising and aiding the continent’s best ideas for improving the lives of Africans. Established by the African Innovation Foundation in 2011, the Innovation Prize for Africa (IPA) targets technological solutions in five main areas: manufacturing and service industry, health and well-being, agriculture and agribusiness, environment, energy and water and ICT.

The competition’s finalists are selected based on originality, marketability, scalability, social impact and scientific/technical aspects.

The following prizes are up for grabs:

$100 000 – grand prize for the winner with the best innovation
$25 000 – second prize
$25 000 – special prize for the innovation with the highest social impact in the community/country.
A $5 000 voucher will be given to each nominee to be used in post-prize technical support to assist in moving the innovation to the next step.

Each finalist will also receive support and training opportunities from the AIF.

Special support has also been reserved for the following groups:

Support for women: After the awards ceremony, AIF will through an internal process select 10 best innovations submitted by women innovators and will work with each one of them to mobilise support which will help move her innovation forward

Support for 10 young innovators under 26: After the awards ceremony, AIF will also select 10 best innovations submitted by young innovators under 26 and will work with each one of them to mobilize support which will help move his/her innovation forward

Design “Do-Tank” workshop/support: Each year, AIF will select at least five innovations which can be enhanced by design and will invite them to the workshop where they will get help from experts to help improve the design and make their product more marketable.

Last year, Professor Lesley Erica Scott won second prize for her invention that examines the accuracy of machines used to detect TB.

Applications for the IPA close on 31st October and must be submitted via the competition’s website. A screening session will be held thereafter, the awards ceremony will be held in June 2016.