Dr Moses Musaazi, Africa Prize for Engineering Innovation judge and Siemens Stiftung Empowering People Award Winner, describes the judging process

What is the Africa Prize for Engineering Innovation?

Who created the Africa Prize for Engineering Innovation?

Why has the Academy started this competition?

What is the purpose of the Africa Prize for Engineering Innovation?

Who can apply for the Africa Prize for Engineering Innovation?

How do you enter the Africa Prize for Engineering Innovation?

When do applications for the Africa Prize for Engineering Innovation close?

What is the Prize process?

Who are the judges of the Africa Prize for Engineering Innovation?

What is the prize?

How will this project be overseen and monitored?

Where can I find further information?

Do I need to be an engineer to enter the prize?

Can I submit more than one idea?

How old do I need to be to apply?

If selected, do I need to spend 6 months away from home?


What is the Africa Prize for Engineering Innovation?

The Africa Prize for Engineering Innovation aims to stimulate and reward engineering entrepreneurship in sub-Saharan Africa. The Africa Prize encourages ambitious and talented sub-Saharan African engineers from all disciplines to apply their skills to develop scalable solutions to local challenges, highlighting the importance of engineering as an enabler of improved quality of life and economic development. Crucial commercialisation support is awarded to a shortlist of innovative applicants, through a six month period of training and mentoring.

back to top 

 

Who created the Africa Prize for Engineering Innovation?

The Africa Prize for Engineering Innovation is an initiative of the Royal Academy of Engineering. It is generously supported by the Shell Centenary Scholarship Fund and the Global Challenges Research Fund.

In addition, Consolidated Contractors Company, ConocoPhillips, the Mo Ibrahim Foundation and private donors have also supported the Prize from 2014-2017. 

back to top

 

Why has the Academy started this competition?

Many countries in Africa face a range of challenges related to energy, water and food security, transport and infrastructure, and access to education and healthcare. Practical innovative engineering solutions can help to address these challenges, but at present sufficient engineering capacity and skills to develop or implement enough of these solutions is lacking.

The Africa Prize for Engineering Innovation is designed to:

  • Support the commercial development of engineering innovations that have a positive impact on social and economic development in the region
  • Inspire and enthuse young people in Africa and the UK about engineering
  • Raise the profile of engineering and innovation in Africa
  • Highlight the role of engineering in tackling development challenges to an international audience ranging from school children to policymakers
  • Bring together stakeholders from the UK and African business and innovation communities to establish a closer dialogue on African and global engineering issues

back to top

 

What is the purpose of the Africa Prize for Engineering Innovation?

The prize aims to stimulate, celebrate, and reward engineering innovation and entrepreneurship in sub-Saharan Africa.

Through the competition, the Academy also seeks to:

  • Promote engineering and innovation as a tool for development and socio-economic growth
  • Tell success stories about engineers and their innovations in sub-Saharan Africa
  • Create inspiring engineering role models and champions in the sub-Saharan region and on the African continent
  • Encourage young people to study engineering and become engineers

back to top

 

Who can apply for the Africa Prize for Engineering Innovation?

  • Applicants must be individuals or groups of no more than three people.
  • Applicants must be citizens of a country within sub-Saharan Africa and currently reside there. For teams of two or three, the lead applicant must be a citizen of a country within sub-Saharan Africa and currently reside there. 
  • Applicants must be engineers who can provide a letter of support from a university of research institution. 
  • Applicants should have achieved the development of, and be in the early stages of commercialising an engineering innovation that:
    • Will bring social and/or environmental benefits to country/countries in sub-Saharan Africa
    • Has strong potential to be replicated and scaled up
    • Is accompanied by an ambitious but realistic business plan which has strong commercial viability
  • Industrial researchers and establishments are not eligible.·
  • The applicant’s innovation can be any new product, technology or service, based on research in engineering defined in its broadest sense to encompass a wide range of fields, including: agricultural technology, biotechnology, chemical engineering, civil engineering, computer science, design engineering, electrical and electronic engineering, ICT, materials science, mechanical engineering, and medical engineering. If you are in any doubt that your area of expertise would be considered engineering then please contact the Academy to discuss your application.

For the purposes of the competition, sub-Saharan countries include:

Angola, Benin, Botswana, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cameroon, Cape Verde, Central African Republic, Chad, Comoros, Republic of the Congo, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Côte d'Ivoire, Djibouti, Equatorial Guinea, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Gabon, The Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Kenya, Liberia, Lesotho, Madagascar, Malawi, Mali, Mauritania, Mauritius, Mozambique, Namibia, Niger, Nigeria, Rwanda, Sao Tome and Principe, Senegal, Seychelles, Sierra Leone, Somalia, South Africa, South Sudan, Sudan, Swaziland, Tanzania, Togo, Uganda, Zambia and Zimbabwe.

back to top

 

How do you enter the Africa Prize for Engineering Innovation?

The Africa Prize is now closed for entries and will reopen in 2018.  

back to top

 

When do applications for the Africa Prize for Engineering Innovation close?

The Africa Prize is now closed for entries and will reopen in 2018.  

back to top

 

What is the Prize process?

Phase One - Entries assessment and shortlisting

All entries for the Africa Prize for Engineering Innovation will be assessed by an expert panel of judges who will select a shortlist. The shortlisting process will take into account:

  • Adherence to all entry requirements
  • The relevance and viability of the engineering innovation
  • The potential social, economic or environmental benefit of the innovation
  • The extent to which the innovation can be replicated and scaled-up

Phase Two – Mentoring and training for shortlisted candidates

Sessions will be held with all shortlisted candidates geared towards:

  • Developing their technology towards successful commercialisation
  • Mentoring the candidates to ensure their innovation is viable in the marketplace
  • Strengthening their existing business plans
  • Preparing them to present their project in the final round of the competition

These sessions will also give the shortlist an opportunity to link with potential partners, investors and customers.

Phase Three – Selection of finalists

After a period of six months, the shortlisted candidates must submit a revised and comprehensive business plan. In addition, mentors will submit evaluations of the shortlist’s progress and of the engineering innovation’s potential. Finalists will then be chosen.

Phase Four – Prize-giving ceremony 

After a period of preparation, the finalists will present their work to the judging panel at a showcase event.

The final winner and runners-up for the Africa Prize for Engineering Innovation will be decided at the event.

back to top

 

Who are the judges of the Africa Prize for Engineering Innovation?

An expert panel of international judges has been assembled and includes:

  • Malcolm Brinded CBE FREng
  • Rebecca Enonchong, CEO, AppsTech
  • Dr John Lazar CBE FREng
  • Dr Moses Musaazi, Managing Director, Technology for Tomorrow Limited
  • Dr Bola Olabisi, CEO, Global Women Inventors and Innovators Network

back to top

 

What is the prize?

The overall winner receives £25,000 (or local currency equivalent). Three runners-up also receive a cash prize of £10,000 each. 

back to top

 

How will this project be overseen and monitored?

The Prize is executed under the auspices of the Academy’s International Committee and delivered by the Academy’s international team. All funding and project activity will be processed through the Academy’s established grant management systems and processes, and will be monitored rigorously through the Academy’s established oversight procedures.

back to top

 

Do I need to be an engineer to enter the prize?

You do not need to be an engineer to enter the Prize, provided your innovation involves and is anchored on engineering, the lead applicant does not need to be an engineer.

back to top

 

Can I submit more than one idea?

Applicants are very welcome to submit more than one proposal per round.

back to top

 

How old do I need to be to apply?

We ask that the lead applicant is over the age of 18 to allow for travel, there is no upper age limit for applications.

back to top

 

If selected, do I need to spend 6 months away from home?

The 6 months of training and mentoring for the Prize shortlist is largely undertaken remotely, from your home, to allow you to run your business. Two weeks of residential training are provided in the UK or in varying countries in Africa and if selected, you are expected to participate in these. The weeks in question are agreed in advance and tend to be in November and February. 

back to top

 

Where can I find further information?

Please email the Africa Prize team.