The Africa Prize for Engineering Innovation hopes to stimulate innovation and entrepreneurship in Sub-Saharan Africa

New engineering prize for African researchers

A new engineering prize for universities and research institutions in sub-Saharan African countries has been launched by RAEng.

The Africa Prize for Engineering Innovation will cover all disciplines from mechanical, civil and computing to biomedical, oil and gas, mining and electronic engineering.

The overall winner will receive £25,000 and every shortlisted entrant will receive six months of extensive mentoring, training and support in commercialising their innovation, as part of the Academy’s commitment to international development.

“Engineering is crucial to social and economic development in South Africa and internationally,” said Malcolm Brinded, RAEng fellow and chair of the judging panel. “The Africa Prize for Engineering Innovation aims to recognise the importance of African engineers and to stimulate innovation and entrepreneurship, while encouraging young people to become engineers by creating successful role models.

“This new competition is designed to incentivise engineers to use their passion to develop innovative solutions to their country’s challenges. The Africa Prize will demonstrate how engineering is at the heart of economic development.”

South African judge of the prestigious Africa Prize for Engineering Innovation, Liesbeth Botha at the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR), commended the RAEng for launching the new prize.

“The Africa Prize for Engineering Innovation will show how African engineers build countries, communities and economies, and put the spotlight on our education system to deliver professional engineers into the economy with the right knowledge and skills,” said Botha.

Entries must be able to demonstrate a social, economic or environmental benefit and must be early-stage innovations that have the potential to be scaled-up and are ready for commercialisation. The deadline for entries is Friday 30 May 2014.

“By encouraging talented engineers to apply their technical and entrepreneurial skills to development challenges in South Africa and the wider continent, we can help build stronger engineering capability, better equipped to develop scalable solutions to all kinds of local and regional challenges,” said Brinded.

“Over the year-long competition, we look forward to seeing great engineering ideas become viable projects that grow economies and improve societies.”

The Africa Prize for Engineering Innovation is supported by the Shell Centenary Scholarship Fund, Consolidated Contractors Company, ConocoPhilips and the Mo Ibrahim Foundation.

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