The IPA is an initiative of the African Innovation Foundation (AIF) started in 2011. IPA honours and encourages innovative achievements that contribute toward developing new products, increasing efficiency or saving cost in Africa. The prize also promotes among young African men and women the pursuit of science, technology and engineering careers as well as business opportunities with potential of contributing to sustainable development in Africa. Specifically, the award targets technological breakthroughs in such main concern areas as manufacturing and service industry, health and well-being, agriculture and agribusiness, environment, energy and water and ICTs. To date, there have been three (3) rounds of competition.
The IPA is focused on:
- Mobilizing leaders from all sectors to fuel African innovation
- Promoting innovation across Africa in key sectors through the competition
- Promoting science, technology and engineering as a rewarding, career path among African youth.
- Encouraging entrepreneurs, innovators, funding bodies and business development service providers to exchange ideas and explore innovative business opportunities.
The IPA anticipates contributing to the following outcomes:
- Increased commercialization of research and development (R&D) outputs in Africa
- Increased funding of start-ups, adoption of new and emerging technologies and accelerated growth of an innovative and dynamic private sector; and
- Increased economic activity and African led development that results in lasting impact.
- A strong African innovation ecosystem
By providing USD 150,000 to winners who deliver market-oriented solutions for African-led development, the IPA acknowledges and encourages the endeavor of innovators and entrepreneurs and works to raise their profiles on the development agenda.
IPA 2015 consists of three prizes:
- USD 100,000 for the winner with the best innovation based on marketability, originality, scalability, social impact, scientific/technical aspect and clear business potentials
- USD 25,000 for the Second Prize with the best commercial/business potential and
- USD 25,000 for the Special Prize for Social Impact Innovation which awards the innovation with the highest social impact in the community/country.