Deadline: July 25, 2023
Applications are open for the Royal Academy of Engineering Africa Prize for Engineering Innovation 2024. The Africa Prize supports ambitious entrepreneurs and innovators developing local and scalable solutions to everyday challenges on the continent.
The Africa Prize will welcome its tenth cohort in November 2023. Since 2014, the programme has supported more than 130 entrepreneurs across 20 African countries with a rigorous business training programme and lifelong support through the Africa Prize alumni network. More than 70% of the alumni’s engineering and technology businesses now generate revenue. Between them the Africa Prize alumni have raised more than USD 14 million in grants and equity funding, and created more than 3,600 jobs, almost half of them for women.
The Africa Prize is now looking for the next 16 promising innovators with engineering technologies to improve lives, launching applications today at the 10th Sankalp Africa Summit in Nairobi, Kenya – an event that showcases the entrepreneurial ecosystem working towards sustainable development in Africa.
- The winner of the Africa Prize receives £25,000 and three runners-up are each awarded £10,000.
- Up to 16 shortlisted applicants receive a unique package of support over eight months to help them accelerate their businesses, including comprehensive and tailored business training, sector specific engineering mentoring, communications support, pitching opportunities and access to the Academy’s network of high profile, experienced engineers and business experts in the UK and across Africa.
- The lead applicant must be a citizen of a country in sub-Saharan Africa. For teams of two or more, the lead applicant (the person participating in training) must be a citizen of a country in sub-Saharan Africa.
- The lead applicant must be over the age of 18 when applications close on July 25, 2023. There is no upper age limit.
- Previous shortlist members or winners are not eligible to participate in the programme again, nor is anyone who was involved in their team or innovation.
- The applicant must have a high level of English language proficiency in order to participate fully in the programme as this is conducted entirely in English. The application must be written in English.
- Applicants can apply as an individual or as part of a team.
- The lead applicant must be ordinarily based in sub-Saharan Africa; if based overseas, this must be temporary for studies or otherwise.
- The innovation must be based in a country in sub-Saharan Africa.
- The lead applicant must have an engineering innovation, although they are not required to be an engineering graduate or student to apply.
- The lead applicant must provide a letter of support from a university, research institution, innovation hub or previous incubator programme. This can be as simple as stating that an individual studied at or was involved with that institution. If applicants are not affiliated with any organisation, another document proving the status of their organisation or innovation, such as a document of incorporation or patent certificate, may be used.
- Industrial researchers and establishments are not eligible.
- The 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. This includes but is not limited to: 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 as engineering, please contact the Academy to discuss your application.
- The lead applicant must provide a letter of consent from the originators/collaborators of the IP to this innovation, where relevant.
- The lead applicant must provide a technical diagram and photo that showcases the technical aspects of the innovation as part of their application.
- Applicants should have developed, and be in the early stages of commercialising, an engineering innovation that:
- will bring social and/or environmental benefits to a country/countries in sub-Saharan Africa.
- has strong potential to be replicated and scaled-up
- is accompanied by an ambitious but realistic business plan that has strong commercial viability.
Applications for the Africa Prize 2024 will close on Tuesday, July 25, 2023 at 4.00pm BST.