Innovation Prize for Africa 2015 – $150,000 in prizes for the Brightest Innovators

Innovation Prize for Africa 2015 – $150,000 in prizes for the Brightest Innovators

Deadline: October 31, 2014

Applications are now open for the Innovation Prize for Africa (IPA) 2015. The African Innovation Foundation (AIF) is calling on all African innovators to submit their entries for the fourth edition of the Innovation Prize for Africa (IPA) competition. The IPA is an annual competition that enables and encourages African pioneers to develop creative ideas and techniques to overcome some of the challenges faced by the continent and support sustainable development.

About IPA

The Innovation Prize for Africa (IPA) is an award founded by the African Innovation Foundation. It mobilizes African innovators and entrepreneurs by providing a total of USD 150 000 to winners who deliver market-oriented solutions for African-led development.

The IPA honours and encourages innovative achievements that contribute toward developing new products, increasing efficiency or cost savings in Africa. The prize also encourages private equity investors, government and development leaders to invest across sectors and build a climate that fuels Africa’s economic growth.

Award Categories

The IPA 2015 will focus on the following five priority areas:

  1. Agriculture/agribusiness: Innovations that have demonstrated a lead in the agricultural sector, particularly, value-added at specific points of the agricultural value-chain. It could be about commercial and market-oriented farming as well as small-scale and subsistence farming.
  2. Environment, Energy and Water: Innovations that have demonstrated a lead in developing or applying cost-effective, smart renewable energy generation processes, cleaner water supply systems etc.
  3. Health and Wellbeing: Innovations that have demonstrated high impact or potential in improving the physical, mental, and social well-being of individuals or communities, through prevention, treatment etc. It is about finding new treatments, cures and approaches that ensure longer, happier and healthier lives.
  4. Information and Communications Technologies (ICTs): Innovative ICTs applications that have demonstrated their potential in addressing key development challenges in African societies (e.g. in communities) or economy, including: software, mobile/wireless technologies and local language software.
  5. Manufacturing and Service Industry: Innovations that have demonstrated a lead on addressing the key pillars of innovation in production technology/industry.

* If you have an innovation in a different thematic area and you feel you would like to submit your application, please indicate and contact us.


The 2015 IPA will consist of three Prizes, which will be given following the criteria outlined above:

  • First Prize (USD 100.000): This prize will be awarded to the innovator with the overall best innovation that meets all the IPA criteria with clear business potential.
  • Second Prize (USD 25,000): This prize will be given to the selected innovator with a commercially driven innovation. Beyond the aforementioned five criteria, this category of Award will be carefully assessed on its marketability potentials and will be awarded to the innovation with the best commercial/business potential.
  • Special Prize for Social Impact Innovation (USD 25,000): This category of award will be assessed carefully on its particular social impact in the community/country and will be awarded to the innovation with the best social impact.

Also, the top-10 finalists shall be invited for face-to-face interviews and to the award ceremony. All finalists will receive certificates. In addition, the AIF will provide in-kind support to each finalist up to a maximum of USD 5,000 in post-prize technical support to assist in moving the innovation to the next step. Media coverage and additional support might also be mobilized for the finalists.

Eligibility and Selection Criteria

The winning innovations are determined based on the products’ uniqueness and their potential contribution to socio-economic development in Africa through increased efficiency and cost savings.

Five criteria to be considered:

  1. Originality: The uniqueness of the product and its superiority in comparison with similar or alternative products in the market;
  2. Marketability: The extent to which the innovation sufficiently addresses the problem it seeks to solve at a price or model that is accessible to the target market;
  3. Scalability: The extent to which the solution can be easily applied to other similar markets beyond the applicant’s immediate or local environment;
  4. Social impact: The ability of the innovation to create or effect positive or desirable changes within the target community and beyond;
  5. Scientific/Technical aspects: For tangible technical/scientific products; this refers to extent to which the technical specifications of the innovation are grounded on established science and sufficiently address any anticipated product risks.

For more information, visit Innovation Prize for Africa.