Call for Applications: Africa Prize for Engineering Innovation 2021


The Africa Prize for Engineering Innovation, founded by the Royal Academy of Engineering, is Africa’s biggest prize dedicated to engineering innovation. It awards crucial commercialization 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 Africa Prize is generously supported by the Shell Centenary Scholarship Fund and the UK Government’s Global Challenges Research Fund.

The aim of the Africa Prize for Engineering Innovation is to stimulate, celebrate, and reward innovation and entrepreneurship in sub-Saharan Africa.

Applications are invited from entrepreneurs and engineers in sub-Saharan Africa who have developed an innovative product or service that can provide scalable solutions to local challenges, with a particular emphasis on sustainable social and economic development. Applicants with engineering-related innovations from all disciplines are invited to enter, whether or not the applicant themselves have an engineering background.

A seven-month period of tailored training and mentoring culminates in a showcase event where a winner is selected to receive GBP 25,000 along with three runners-up, who are each awarded GBP 10,000.

Eligibility Criteria

Applicants must have developed, or be in the process of developing a new technological innovation. Applicants should have the ambition to take a leading role in creating a new business to commercialize this innovation.

The Africa Prize is part-funded by the UK Government’s Global Challenges Research Fund, and as such, all activities must be compliant with Official Development Assistance (ODA) rules. 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.
  • Applicants must be individuals or small teams
  • Individual applicants must be citizens of a country in sub-Saharan Africa
  • For teams of two or more, the lead applicant must be a citizen of a country in sub-Saharan Africa
  • The innovation must be based in a country in sub-Saharan Africa
  • Applicants must have an engineering innovation, though are not required to be an engineering graduate or student
  • Applicants must provide a letter of support from a university, research institution, innovation hub or previous incubator program. 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 organization, another document proving the status of your organization or innovation, such as a document of incorporation or patent certificate may be used.
  • The lead applicant must be over the age of 18 by 1 September 2020. There is no upper age limit.
  • 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. 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 engineering, then please contact the Academy to discuss your application.
  • Applicants should have developed, and be in the early stages of commercializing, an engineering innovation that:
    • Will bring social and/or environmental benefits to a country/countries in sub-Saharan Africa;
    • Has a strong potential to be replicated and scaled-up;
    • Is accompanied by an ambitious but realistic business plan which has strong commercial viability.

Application closes on September 14, 2020

More details and apply HERE


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here