The fifth edition of the Africa Prize for Engineering Innovation is open for entries. The deadline for engineers from sub-Saharan Africa to enter is Monday, 23 July.

Call for entries for Africa Prize for Engineering InnovationThe Africa Prize, founded by the UK’s Royal Academy of Engineering, is a six-month training programme which helps engineers become entrepreneurs through funding, bespoke mentoring and comprehensive business training. The 16 candidates shortlisted for the prize will receive training to develop business plans and market their innovations.

Engineers from all disciplines are invited to submit innovations with a social, economic or environmental benefit. Entries must be early-stage innovations which have the potential to be scaled-up and are ready for commercialisation.

“Engineering drives development and social change and has the potential to significantly improve quality of life. African engineers are already advancing technology in fields ranging from health and agriculture to education and energy. Developing entrepreneurial skills among those innovative engineers is the key to showcasing and amplifying the continent’s considerable technological strength,” says Africa Prize judge Rebecca Enonchong.

The Africa Prize for Engineering Innovation is the biggest of its kind, providing a unique package of support. In addition to the mentoring, candidates also get access to the Royal Academy of Engineering’s network of high profile, experienced engineers and experts, as well as their networks. The eventual winner is awarded £25 000. Runners up receive £10 000.

“The skills you get from the Africa Prize last a lifetime and help you reshape and rethink your business,” says inaugural Africa Prize winner Dr Askwar Hilonga. Hilonga’s NanoFilter business has expanded across Tanzania, with support from international NGOs and organisations, making a lasting impact on people in the region by providing innovative water filtration systems to communities.

The fourth winner of the Africa Prize was announced in Nairobi, Kenya on 13 June 2018. Ugandan software engineer Brian Gitta won the award with his innovation, Matibabu, a device which tests for malaria without drawing blood. Previous winners of the Africa Prize for Engineering Innovation are Tanzanian Dr Askwar Hilonga, creator of the NanoFilter; Cardiopad founder Arthur Zang from Cameroon; and Godwin Benson from Nigeria for the education app, Tuteria.

Previous South African shortlisted candidates include Andre Nel with Green Tower, a solar energy micro-grid boiler; Collins Tatenda Saguru with AltMet, an economical, environmentally sustainable process to recover and re-use precious metals from cars; Ernst Pretorius with Draadsitter, a fence tampering warning system to help combat wildlife poaching; and James van der Walt with the Solar Turtle, a secure, self-contained, off-grid power utility that creates employment and helps off-grid communities access energy and financial services.

Other South Africans shortlisted for the prize include Matt Wainwright with Standard Microgrid, a renewable, off-grid container utility that charges a flat rate per use rather than a rate per kilowatt hour; Reinhardt Kotzé with Flow-Viz, a real-time diagnostic quality control system for fluids

Manufacturing; Shalton Mphodisa Mothwa with AEON Power Bag, which allows users to charge their phones on the go by converting radio waves and solar energy into power; Werner Swart with Drylobag, a large, portable storage system to dry and store grain more effectively and affordably than permanent silos; and Wilfred Fritz with an automated solar cooker that tracks the sun and has built-in temperature and timing controls.

Entries can be submitted at www.raeng.org.uk.

Image credit: https://www.raeng.org.uk/grants-and-prizes/international-research-and-collaborations/africa-prize/current-and-recent-awardees 


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