Yesterday, the Next Einstein Forum (NEF) launched its search for “Africa’s brightest innovators to compete in its NEF Challenge of Invention to Innovation (Ci2i).” This was announced in the initiative’s official blog.
NEF is calling upon “Young African scientists and innovators under 42 years of age” to present their research-driven innovations in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) to a panel of experts in a pitch style competition at the NEF Global Gathering 2018 to be held 26-28 March 2018 in Kigali, Rwanda, under the patronage of H.E. President Paul Kagame.
“While innovation competitions have become commonplace in Africa, the NEF Challenge of Invention to Innovation (NEF Ci2i) seeks to support the scale-up of research-driven innovations. This global gathering, we have selected three forward-looking categories: Deeptech innovations, climate-smart innovations and personalized health innovations. These strategic categories and the innovations that will come out of NEF Ci2i are not only relevant for Africa but will give African innovators competitive edge globally,” Mr Thierry Zomahoun, President and CEO of the African Institute for Mathematical Sciences (AIMS) and Founder and Chair of NEF.
Judges and participants come from major Pan-African and global business, pharmaceutical and technological companies providing an unparalleled opportunity for researchers and entrepreneurs, both in terms of feedback and mentorship and in terms of funding to scale and expand R&D efforts.
“The goal of the Ci2i competition is to reward research-based innovation and highlight the global impact of African researchers and entrepreneurs. At the NEF, we believe that inventions, especially science-driven ones, are critical to Africa’s transformation. It is not enough to have ideas or inventions, to impact humanity these inventions must reach the people and become innovations. The Ci2i is one platform which will bridge this gap,” said Dr Youssef Travaly, Director of Programs and Lead Scientist at the NEF.
Participation in the competition is open to Africans of all nationalities under 42 years of age. In the case that teams are led by a non-African, one of the co-founders or chief executives must be African. The judging panel will consist of three to five subject matter experts, business and academic leaders and government officials. The language for the competition is English.
The competition will have two rounds with the final round presented at in plenary on the final day of the NEF Global Gathering 2018. Presenters should clearly describe their innovation or project, its impact and scalability.
Launched in 2013, the Next Einstein Forum (NEF) is an initiative of the African Institute for Mathematical Sciences (AIMS) in partnership with the Robert Bosch Stiftung. The NEF aims at creating a platform that connects science, society and policy in Africa and the rest of the world – with the goal to leverage science for human development globally.
The monetary prizes for Ci2i winners and runner-ups will be announced during the unveiling of the selected Top 15 innovators to pitch at the NEF Ci2i. Deadline for submission of applications is 12 February 2018. The Top 15 will be announced 1 March 2018. Learn more about the application process here.