The 2022 Africa Prize for Engineering Innovation for Sub-Saharan Africans organized by The Royal Academy of Engineering and sponsored by shell has opened applications for interested young innovators.
Launched in 2014 by the Royal Academy of Engineering, the Africa Prize for Engineering Innovation awards crucial commercialisation support to ambitious African innovators developing scalable engineering solutions to local challenges, demonstrating the importance of engineering as an enabler of improved quality of life and economic development. The Prize has a track record of identifying engineering entrepreneurs with significant potential, many of whom have gone on to achieve greater commercial success and social impact.
Each year, up to 16 shortlisted African innovators receive a unique package of support over eight months to help them accelerate their businesses. The benefits of selection include 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 Royal Academy of Engineering is harnessing the power of engineering to build a sustainable society and an inclusive economy that works for everyone. In collaboration with Fellows and partners such as Shell, they are growing talent and developing skills for the future, driving innovation and building global partnerships, and influencing policy and engaging the public.
Since the start of the Africa Prize eight years ago, the Academy has supported 118 businesses from 18 countries through the programme. In our eighth year, the Africa Prize is supporting 8 women entrepreneurs and 8 men entrepreneurs from 9 different countries. This year the Africa Prize is generously funded by The Shell Centenary Scholarship Fund.
To be considered for the Africa Prize for Engineering Innovation, you must:
- have developed, or be in the process of developing, a new technological innovation.
- should have the ambition to take a leading role in creating a new business to commercialise this innovation.
- Be from sub-Saharan Africa
- Innovations must:
• aim to promote the welfare and economic development of a country or countries in sub-Saharan Africa
• be designed to address a development need or specific challenge facing that country.
- The application must be written in English.
- 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 lead applicant must be over the age of 18 when applications close on 19 July 2022. 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.
- Applicants can apply as an individual or as part of a team.
- 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 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, then please contact the Academy to discuss your application.
- Click here for more details
Duration and Reward
- A shortlist of 16 applicants will be selected to receive an eight-month package of mentoring and training.
- The training will take various formats and will require a significant time commitment over the eight months. All reasonable costs are covered to attend and participate in these activities.
- The training period will run from late 2022 to mid 2023. This includes:
• remote group and one-on-one training and mentoring, taking place on a regular basis via video conference, telephone calls and webinars
• the potential of a residential training week in Africa and/or the UK
- The prizes will be awarded following an assessment by the judging panel.
• The winner will receive £25,000
• Three runners-up will receive £10,000 each.