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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.

According to the African Innovation Foundation,the IPA is presented annually, enabling and encouraging African pioneers to develop creative ideas and techniques to overcome some of the challenges faced by the continent and support sustainable development.

“At the African Innovation Foundation we are passionate about Africa and its potential, that we firmly believe will be led by empowering a new generation of African innovators and entrepreneurs, but we also recognize that this new generation needs the resources and the opportunities to realize their ambition,” said AIF and IPA founder Jean-Claude Bastos de Morais.

“IPA provides a platform to encourage and harness these entrepreneurial skills in order to help improve the lives of Africans and to help realize untapped potential. The prize is also a great way of unleashing creativity and promoting growth within the African continent,” he added.

The IPA is becoming integral to facilitating ground-breaking thinking, creativity and driving awareness to the outstanding work being done in Africa by Africans. IPA 2013 winner, AgriProtein, went on to raise $11 million to build its first two commercial farms in Cape Town.

“Africa needs meaningful investment to alleviate poverty and provide inclusive prosperity. To achieve this, we need to be able to provide environments that promote quality investment for the people and reduce risks. Forums like the IPA are necessary to make the most of the continent’s investment,” said David Drew, AgriProtein spokesperson.

All innovations are evaluated based on the following criteria: originality, marketability, scalability, social impact and scientific/technical aspects. The best submission will be awarded a grand prize of $100 thousand.  The second prize of $25,000 will be awarded to an innovator with an innovation which has the best commercial and business potential. An additional award is a special prize granted to the innovator whose innovation has the best social impact in the community.

The IPA encourages entries in five key categories: Agriculture and Agribusiness, Environment, Energy and Water, Health and Wellbeing, ICT applications, and Manufacturing and Services Industries.

Recognizing home grown innovative ingenuity, the prize contributes to increased funding of start-ups, adoption of new and emerging technologies and accelerated growth of the private sector. With ever changing economic and social environments, it is critical that proposed solutions tackle issues affecting African lives, and that they are effective and different from the existing ones.

IPA 2014 named Dr. Nicolaas Duneas and Mr. Nuno Pires from South Africa the winners of the grand prize and received $100 thousand for their Altis Osteogenic Bone Matrix , the first injectable porcine derived BMP medical device in the world, an innovative product for the treatment of bone injuries and voids through the use of a regenerative biological implant.

The IPA also beckons all investors, governments, and other stakeholders interested in evaluating, investing and maximizing the continent’s resources to participate in this innovative and empowering initiative and make a significant change through generous contributions that will accelerate Africa’s economic growth.

The deadline for submitting applications for IPA 2015 is October 31, 2014 at midnight GMT.

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